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Taken to a Safe Hiding House

Heroes Remember

Taken to a Safe Hiding House

So after about four or five days then panic set in. "You've gotta go because somehow the Gestapo is aware there's an airman in the area!" And so we had made arrangements for our young lad to come with a bicycle and take you to another safe hiding house which happened. The young lad came, him and I peddled on a bike, he peddled on a bike and we went to a safe second hiding house, safe second hiding house and we were there again for about another four or five days when the very same thing happened because the Gestapo, they had spies everywhere. They knew almost anything that went on. Not only that but the French people had trouble trusting one another because some of them supported the Nazi Regime, some supported the Vichy Government of France that supported and so people were getting paid to turn airmen over so it was very difficult to find out who trusted you, who you could trust but in those circumstances you had to trust whoever tried to help you. Anyway, I was in the second safe hiding house for about another week and the same thing happened. And so they said we'll take you to another safe hidng house. And at the third safe hiding house where a widow lived who's husband had been killed fighting the Germans earlier she said, "There will be a couple come to see you from the French Underground." So this young couple came to see me and the first thing they wanted me to do was to prove that I was an airman. So I had papers on me and my escape kit so I gave them all this material and I said, "Why are you questioning me, I am an airman?" "No, no because the Germans were dressing up as airmen, pretending they were airmen to find out where the different underground cells were, to find out where airmen were being hid. Now you better prove to us that you're an airman because if not, we will shoot you, assume you're a German!?" Well, I gave them some information and they went away, came back a couple of days later and they said, "Thankfully, we were able to prove who you are and we brought back with us a passport with swastikas in it and so now your name is Edouard Cartier and in a couple of days time we are going to come pick you up and take you to Paris where you meet another contact that's going to take you to Spain by car."

After receiving assistance from a young couple, Mr. Carter-Edwards describes how he was provided with a new identity and began his journey through Paris to Spain.

Ed Carter-Edwards

Edward (Ed) Carter-Edwards was born on April 2, 1923, in Montréal, Quebec, and was raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He enlisted in August 1942, and then joined 427 (Lion) Squadron, 6 Royal Canadian Air Force Group, in Leeming, England. He was a wireless operator air gunner and completed 21 successful missions in a Halifax bomber. On his 22nd mission, Mr. Carter-Edwards was shot down near Paris. He was betrayed to the Gestapo by a collaborator, threatened with execution and forced into the Fresnes prison, near Paris. He spent five weeks in the prison in 1944 followed by a five-day trip in a French cattle car to the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. He was there for three and a half months as one of 26 Canadians - 168 allied airmen in all. He was forced to participate in two death marches shortly before the end of the war. Once released from service and safely back home, Mr. Carter-Edwards returned to Hamilton and worked at the appliance manufacturer Westinghouse. He was married in 1946, and he and his wife raised three children.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 25, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Ed Carter-Edwards
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
4th Medium Artillery Regiment
Wireless Air Gunner

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