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Coming Upon a German Outpost

Heroes Remember

Coming Upon a German Outpost

We ran into an outpost, a German outpost that we thought was abandoned on the border of Hungary; Hungary and Czechoslovakia. And before we knew it, a German appeared with a rifle in his hand. He didn't have the bayonet on. And he shoved it into my navel and I'm carrying a kit bag with 28 bars of English Red Cross soap which we were going to use for bartering. But we hadn't tried, you see, Czechoslovakia was taken over by German or German sympathizers more so than Hungary. It was dangerous, very dangerous place to travel, Czechoslovakia. So, we figured the fella speaking German, he made contacts, we would wait until we got to Hungary to make contacts and for a bar of soap, you know, God you could maybe get food and lodgings or whatever, you don't know, we didn't know what we could get, but that's why we were carrying it and we couldn't eat it, so you know, like chocolate or anything. So anyway, he shouted “Halt!” and he shoved this rifle in my belly and I'm carrying the bag of soap. So within seconds the three airmen bolted through a wheat field while he's yelling, “Halt, halt, halt,” like that, you know, and keeping his eyes on me. So I'm standing there, you know, I got my hands like this and he keeps saying, “Pistole, pistole?” meaning did I have a pistole, but I could've disarmed him, but the funny thing was he had three females, the Germans always had women with them, the truck drivers, the transport drivers, always had women in the cab. And there's three of them there, see. So they all appear from somewhere and then one goes back and I could hear her on the phone, see. And this is dusk, it's still not light, it's still semi-dark. In the meantime, I dropped the bag. I dropped the bag when I put my hands like that So he could see I didn't have a weapon. What was curious about this, they dumped the soap out on the ground and they were counting... [counts in German] and smelling their fingers all the time, they couldn't understand what the hell is this guy doing with all this soap.

Still on the run, Mr. Poolton describes the situation of running into a German outpost, being caught by the enemy while the airmen continue on.

John (Jack) Poolton

John (Jack) Abernethy Poolton was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 9, 1918. He was one of seven children. His father farmed 100 acres near Kapuskasing, Ontario. Mr. Poolton enlisted in the Royal Regiment of Canada and provides vivid, clear details of the allied landing at Dieppe, France on August 19, 1942.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John (Jack) Poolton
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Regiment of Canada

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