A Lone Texan in Stalag Luft III

Last week died Flight Lieutenant Paul Royle, the last but one surviving escapees of the prison made famous by the film The great Escape. 

According to his son, he hated the film, as he claimed there were no Americans there. A letter in the i newspaper from John Edwards corrects this:

“Texan-born William Ash had, at the age of 23, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force i 1940 and flew spitfires in the war. He was shot down over France in 1942 and eventually did end up in Stalag Luft III. Although he was  there at the time, Ash did not take part in the great escape because he was in solitary confinement for a previous escape attempt.

Steve McQueen’s performance in The Great Escape was based on Ash. Of course, there was no motorbike, but, then, the fil was never meant to be a documentary.”

Fair point.


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