After nearly 70 years, a plaque was dedicated at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp to recognize that 168 Allied aircrew were illegally imprisoned there from August 20 to November 28, 1944.
The Memorial Plaque publicly recognizes for the first time that Allied aircrew spent more than 3 months there under terrifying circumstances, and honours two aircrew that died in captivity.
Ed Carter-Edwards, one of those there and a member of the No. 6 RCAF Dunnville Museum, attended as a representative of the Canadian aircrew was the first to lay a rose on the Memorial. Ed was the wireless radio operator in a Halifax bomber shot down over France. He parachuted safely and was able to connect with the French Underground.
The Underground moved him to Paris in stages where he and another aircrew were to be driven to Spain by a young French couple. If they made it to Spain safely, they would be able to return to England.
Unfortunately, a Gestapo informer had infiltrated that branch of the French Underground. The Gestapo stopped the car as it was leaving Paris and all four were arrested. The two aircrew and the French couple were temporarily sent to a prison in Paris before being loaded in cattle cars and sent to Buchenwald.
Ed and the other aircrew were charged with espionage. He believes that the French couple were sent to the gas chambers.
It was only the intervention of a high ranking Luftwaffe officer who arranged for the transfer of all of the remaining Allied aircrew to a POW camp.