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“Shot Down!!!” Part 8 of 8

Heroes Remember

“Shot Down!!!” Part 8 of 8

There were a lot of tears, a lot of tears. A lot of sobbing, a lot of tears. You know, after a year's time, you... they become your family. They become your family and you get, you get to the point where you, you, you know you have to go back, but at the same time you hate to leave them, but you know they're free. You know they're free and life will go on. And, so, then what you do is you promise one another to stay in touch. And we have. I must confess that I have stayed in touch with the people who helped me, all the people who helped me except this one guy who interrogated me, Cor Fovelard. I tried to get in touch with him the third time I was back and I wrote to his son. I wrote to him and I <inaudible>, I spoke to him on the phone the first time I was back, and he said "I can’t talk to you now," he says, "It's still very, very... it's a difficult, very, very difficult for me." He says, "I, I still have it in my heart." His was a very funny story, at first he was with the, the underground was divided into three parts: there were those who supplied the food, those who blew up bridges and those who killed undesirable Nazis, you know. And now, at first he was, because he interrogated me and he supplied the food and so on, but he was caught one day by the Gestapo for some unknown reason and he was tortured. He was kept overnight and tortured, they used a gunsight on his face, you know, and they said, "Who are the names of these people? Where'd you get all these ration cards?" and so on and so forth. He wouldn't tell, but that night the underground went in and freed him. And when they freed him, he was so bitter that he decided to join the third, the third group, and he, the rest of the war, he spent rubbing out Germans, eh. Germans that were undesirable. Now, mind you, a lot of people died on account of them because they had reprisals, eh. As soon as you killed somebody, it was a major or somebody of that nature or a Gestapo leader, you killed him, they would have reprisals. They'd kill 10, or 15, or 20 prisoners. So, he said, "You know, it, it still weighs heavily upon me. I can't see anybody right now." But he says, "The next time you're here," he says, "we'll get together," he says, "and I'll be in better shape to talk to you." So, the next time I went down, I called, I wrote to his, to him, and his son wrote back and said that he had died the year before. So, I was never able to see him He was the only one that I couldn't, I didn't, see. I saw everyone, I saw the rest of them.

Mr. Pochailo describes his farewell to his Dutch 'family' with a sad twist

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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