Episode 62 – The Amiens Prison Raid 70th Anniversary Special

Special Correspondents: Denis Sharp and Tom Allett

The Speakers: At Hunsdon, England – Denis Sharp, Lay preacher David Scott, Linda Gough, Martin Gough, Glen Thompson, Arthur Wingate, Roy Howe, Andrew Payne and Jim Cosgrove

In Cambridge, New Zealand – Jenny Boon, Dave Homewood and Ray Tocker

In Amiens, France – Tom Allett, Pierre Ben and Dr. Jean-Pierre Ducellier

Host: Dave Homewood

Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes, 53 seconds

Recorded: 16th and 18th of February 2014

Topic: On the 18th of February 1944, de Havilland Mosquitoes from No’s 487 (NZ) Squadron, No. 464 Squadron RAAF and No. 21 Squadron RAF set off from RAF Hunsdon in Hertfordshire to undertake one of the most precise low level bombing raids of World War Two. They bombed and breached the wall of the Amiens Prison, in the north of France, in an attempt to assist hundreds of French Resistance members and political prisoners to escape from Gestapo hands.

70 years later this incredible raid and the men who flew on it were remembered in special commemoration ceremonies at former RAF Hunsdon in England, the town of Cambridge in New Zealand, and at Amiens in France.

Also remembered were the airmen lost on the raid, Group Captain Percy Pickard, Flight Lieutenants Alan Broadley and Dick Sampson, and Flight Sergeant Henry Brown.

This special episode has recordings from all three commemorations, England, New Zealand and France, in a two hour long Wings Over New Zealand Show Special.

Photos from the Cambridge, New Zealand Ceremony (taken by Dave Homewood)

Jenny Boon, neice of F/Lt Dick Sampson, and her husband Roger Boon, next to the panel on the Cambridge Cenotaph that commemorates Dick’s service. His name is just below the wreath.

Jenny Boon with WWII veteran Noel Helean who was near Amiens on the day of the raid, hiding in a French Resistance safe house, having crashed in his Hawker Typhoon the previous December.

Jenny Boon making her speech about her Uncle Dick Sampson

Cambridge Returned and Services Association president Ray Tocker (in the suit) and vice-president Bob Devereaux, having just laid a wreath


By the way, the music clips in this episode are I Vow To Thee My Country by Gustav Holst, and Fernleaf Headstones by Dwayne Bloomfield and played by the New Zealand Army Band

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