Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0519
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T3719 25-05-44 Halifax
MilRank First Name(s) Name
P/O. Walter James Bush
Milregnr. Nationality Born
173860 British
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
No EVD-POW 15 Jun 44 Antwerp, Belgium -
Evader Story
						P/O. Walter James Bush was the wireless operator of Halifax LW137. Returning from a bombing mission to Aachen, a nightfighter attacked the bomber and set it on fire. The Halifax eventually crashed in the Emilia Polder near Made and Drimmelen. Four crewmembers were killed. The three survivors, among whom Bush, managed to evade capture for a period. Bush landed in the city canal of Geertruidenberg. He was soon picked up by some Dutchmen, who passed Bush to resistance members of the LO Brabant-West or Groep André. Bush arrived the following evening (25 May 1944) in the house of Adrianus Smit, the mayor of Sprang Capelle (at B.3 at Sprang Capelle). It was probably here that he was reunited with the mid upper gunner of his crew, P/O. Allan Charles Shierlaw (E0521). Bush wrote shortly after the war: 'Smit then took us to a farm on the outskirts of Sprang-Capelle and we stayed there for about a week. I cannot give the name and address of this farm. M.A. Smit came over as often as possible bringing cigarettes and tobacco [and] also a bottle of very good whiskey. In short he done everything possible for us.' From the farm near Sprang Capelle the two moved to another farm where they hid also for about a week. Together Bush and Shierlaw were escorted to the Dutch-Belgian border and handed over to the Belgian resistance group 'Witte Brigade'. According to some sources also W/O. II L.M. Shetler (E0518) and W/O. II W.V. Joel (E0525) were members of this party. They ended up in Antwerp were they were betrayed and arrested on 15 June 1944. Bush: 'When in Belgium we were helped by various people, whose names I do not know, and stayed for three days with Mdlle Fiedels [?] de Ridder whose present address is: 85. Avenue Royale, Antwerp (Berchem), Belgium. She fedus for three days and we were captured from her flat. She done everything and was captured when we were.' Bush and Shierlaw eventually ended up in Stalag Luft III near Sagan.

* NIOD, 896, Willemsen, W.J.M, 2, 'W.J. Bush'
* National Archives, Washington, NAID: 286689537