29 August 2012 – The Great Escape

Near the Old Habour in Hermanus, South Africa

S34°25.231 E19°14.602

The 1963 movie, The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen as Capt. Virgil “The Cooler King” Hilts, tells the story of a group of POW’s who attempted an epic escape from a Nazi prison camp during WWII by means of a secretly dug tunnel under the electrified fence and walls of the camp.

This escape was masterminded by Squadron Leader, Roger Joyce Bushell RAF (30 August 1910 – 29 March 1944), a South African-born British Auxiliary Air Force pilot.  Bushell was amongst the first few to leave the tunnel.  He successfully boarded a train at Sagan railway station, but was caught the next day at Saarbrücken, waiting for a train to Alsace in France.

Bushell was murdered three days later by members of the Gestapo – fifty of the 76 escapees were eventually killed in the so-called, Stalag Luft III murders.  This was a breach of the Geneva Convention and so constituted a war crime.

In his memory, a plaque bearing his name was placed on the War Memorial situated above the Old Harbour in Hermanus, where his parents spent the last years of their lives.

Visit The Great Escape at www.geocaching.com

This was Day 4 of 30 consecutive caching days, and #1 of 4 for the day.


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