the middle of March, we had become restless and wanted
to work our way south towards Allied lines. Our friends
brought us an Italian man who was willing to guide us
to Rome. It turned out he had been in contact with Lt.
Green! I talked the situation over with Gardner and
DeLisle and we decided that I should join Green and
try to get to Rome with the help of our friend. If we
made it he was to come back and bring them to Rome.
Italians took me from the cave that night to an old
shack in a field and Lt. Green was there waiting for
us. We had an emotional reunion as I was not sure he
had been able to get out of the plane and I feared he
had been killed. Turned out he had cleared the plane
only seconds before it exploded.
Italian joined us and we caught the night train to Rome.
It had been agreed that we would not sit together and
if either Green or I were caught we would be, as far
as the Germans knew, traveling alone. We were scheduled
to arrive in Rome before daylight. All trains traveled
at night to avoid the bombers.
twenty, miles from Rome we came upon a bridge that had
been knocked out, the train stopped, and we had to get
out and walk across the wreckage to the other side.
Confusion and apprehension prevailed. We could not talk
to anyone. All we could do was just wait with the other
passengers and try to look inconspicuous.
daylight, another train came "backing in"
from Rome and we all got aboard and finished the trip.
From the station we walked through Rome to a building
where we made contact with a representative of the Vatican.
He led us to an area adjacent to Vatican City where
we were to stay. We had a choice of sleeping in an open
bay-type housing facility or of digging and preparing
our own hideout. I chose to dig my own concealed fox
hole where I slept alone.
were nearly twenty other fugitive Allied airmen there,
including some who had escaped from POW camps. One day
Lt. Stewart walked in and joined us. He too had been
helped by friendly Italians.(Continued)