Jane Way, Pilot Officer Bradshaw’s daughter, remembers that “the Gestapo were keen to get their hands on the crew of a US Flying Fortress which had come down around the same time – carrying a crew of 10.
“Unfortunately the Resistance put Dad with the Americans, and as they moved down the Resistance channel, someone informed and they found themselves in a farmhouse surrounded by the Gestapo.”
Decades later, the RAF pilot would return to the farmhouse near Rouen, and reunite with Jean Osman. As Tim recalls: “My Dad took us in a VW campervan to find the farmer, and we did. They said each other’s names and recognised each other, and communicated despite not being able to speak each others’ language.”
Following his capture, Pilot Officer Bradshaw ended up in Paris’s Fresnes prison, where he was interrogated for hours under suspicion of being a British spy.
Acknowledged ultimately as a military combatant prisoner of war, Pilot Officer Bradshaw was transported to the Dulag Luft camp near Frankfurt, Germany, before moving to the east compound of Stalag Luft III. The camp, near Sagan, was 160 kilometres south-east of Berlin – now Żagań in western Poland.
In his notes, the RAF man wrote: “In March ‘44, the great escape just took place from the north compound and 50 escapees were shot”.