Sherk, Raymond


A very short account by Raymond Sherk giving names of those who he escaped with and details of his escape route. He was captured at El Alamein and spent time in various camps. The only one he specifies is PG78, Sulmona.

The full story follows, in two versions. The version in the first window below is the original scanned version of the story. In the second window below is the transcribed version in plain text.

(From letter to Keith Killby June 26th 2001)
I was captured at El Alamein on September 29th 1942 after a long walk back through the Quattara Depression following a long-range sortie to Charing Cross with two others of 601 Spitfire Squadron, in which we destroyed a JU52. I met Don McLarty (Hurricane pilot) at Mersa Matruh about a week later in transit to Derna as PoWs. McLarty and I were together from then on in various resorts run by Benito Mussolini.

We got out of PG78 in Sulmona during the Italian capitulation and confusion in September 1943. We were captured in the mountains by the Germans but, by a ruse, got away. After a couple of weeks in a cave near Roccacasale we avoided recapture during a German raid. Later, in the mountains, we met Uys Krige and Sammy Rochberg (both ex-PG78). Then on to Campo Di Giove, where we narrowly avoided recapture during another raid. We went over the mountain from there to Palena, Gamberale and Ateleta. Rochberg left us at the (River) Sangro and has been lost to us ever since; though I heard that we got through.

Uys, McLarty and I continued on past Capracotta, Agnone and over the (River) Trigno and then found a guide near Salcito (Pascuale Tucci). Pascuale led us and a number of Italians through the lines at night to Lucito where we met the Seaforth Highlanders of the Canadian Division on October 26th.

Uys’s ‘The Way Out’ was one of the first WWII escape stories. You’ll find a picture of me and McLarty in the book.

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