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“Shot Down!!!” Part 6 of 8

Heroes Remember


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“Shot Down!!!” Part 6 of 8

It was rough, it was very rough. Some of the kids used to come from Rotterdam for food. They just had hemp sacks on their feet and they would come begging for a tulip bulb or, or anything, anything at all. They would, they would walk 15 kilometres, 20 kilometres in the dead of winter looking for food. And I'm sure that some of the little ones, you know the least we'd do, we'd bring them in and warm them up, give them what we had, we didn't have very much. And they would go back out again, and I'm sure that some of the little ones must have just curled up and died in the field. You know, there was no way they could get back. It was was, it was, it was rough. I saw one little girl in a, in a, in a storefront. We used to go out for, for a little walk at night, and this little girl in the storefront, she had a Brussel sprout and there was no sprouts on it. She was just chewing on the, on the, on the stalk. And there was three other little children who were just as hungry as she was and they stalked her like wolves. And they came, they kept getting closer and she was, had her back against the wall and she had the stalk and she was holding it and I've never seen eyes like that in my whole life. Her eyes turned green, they turned green just like a, a mad person. And the other three kids... exactly the same way. They look, they were, the looked just like wolves. It was... they were that desperate. It was terrible, terrible.

Mr. Pochailo describes some effects of starvation on Holland’s children

Philip Pochailo

Philip Pochailo was born in Rainy River, Ontario, on November 19, 1920. After finishing his education, he worked several years in lumber camps, and finally enlisted in the RCAF in 1942. He went overseas in 1943. After advanced training as a bomb aimer in Great Britain, he was assigned to a British crew in No.1 Bomber Command in April 1944. His aircraft was shot down over the Netherlands and only he and the aircraft's pilot survived. Mr. Pochailo evaded capture and joined the Dutch Resistance Movement where he lived and worked for the next 12 months. He was liberated by Canadian troops in Rotterdam in 1945. Mr. Pochailo returned to Canada after the war and now resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Philip Pochailo
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
#1 Bomber Command
AC2 / Flying Officer
Bomb Aimer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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