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Escape report Sgt J.H. Nekervis (serial number 13096977)
 

Sgt J.H. Nekervis crashed between Norville and Saint Maurice d'Etelan (Seine Maritime, formely Seine Inférieure) on June 12, 1944

 

 

 

 

"Ship hit by flak 20.50 or 20.55 before target. Hit in left motor. Immediate fire. Went into dive and I was thrown twice against ceiling of fuselage.

I landed very quickly, between Norville and St Maurice. I ran to a grain field. Ship landed near me and blew up. I ran up road to a small forest near a small cathedral. Two French boys with bicycles met me and beckoned to me and took me into forest and then to a barn. One of the boys then went and brought two men, one of whom stayed with me till dark and the other brought me civilian clothes. They then took me to Norville to a farm house where I was fed and then the man put me into barn for the night.

Next morning, the woman came and told me the Germans were looking for me. Then the man took me in a cart back near the first barn and from there I walked to the Seine. Got there at 11.00 hrs. Then I walked towards Rouen. That afternoon I hid and that night slept in barn near a sawmill.

On morning of 14, I swam across the river at 10.00 hrs on outgoing tide. It took 40 minutes. On the bank was a small house next to a big house. A girl saw me and got her brother who took me in and gave me some clothes and food and kept me that night (Vatteville la Rue) and I stayed the next day (15 June) and the night of the 15th in a gipsy caravan in the yard of the big house. The man’s name was Georges Benet.

Next morning, the son of Benet took me to Faixport*, crossed the Seine on a ferry. Then he led way but I lost him and got to Notre Dame de Gravenchon. Here I asked for a drink at a bicycle shop. (Mr Cavé; west end of town). She brought M Prevost who speaks English (slightly bald, medium height, 54 years old). He interrogated me and then I stayed with the Cavé from 16 June until 31 August. Only one day out when we went to Mme Cavé’s mother in Norville.

On 31, British came into town**. Next morning, I went out. That afternoon, I met a British Intelligence Sgt who made arrangements to meet me next morning. But the next morning, we went to Norville and met a Lieut Kaapengarde of Dutch troops who took me to Liaison Officer. Thence to Canadian HQ outside of MAIN. Saw Sg there and thence to RAF who flew us across to London 3 sept. "

* Faixport doesn't exist and he was probably referring to the Vieux-Port ferry crossing
** Notre Dame de Gravenchon was occupied by the German army from June 12, 1940 till August 31, 1944. Notre Dame de Gravenchon was jointly liberated by the British and Belgian armies.  See on http://www.brigade-piron.be/Normandie_en.htm photo of Belgian troops crossing the Seine at Quilleboeuf / Port Jérôme.

 

 


 

Photos
 

From left to right: 1st Lt Roy D Voorhees (Pilot), 2nd Lt Geo L Starry (co-pilot), 1st Lt Clifton R Street (Nav - Bomb), S:Sgt Curtis C Cox (Engineer, gunner), S/Sgt John H Nekervis (Radio, gunner), S/Sgt Ernest F Neubert (gunner) - Photo Stephen Nekervis

 

 

John Nekervis is the fourth from the left - Photo Stephen Nekervis


 

 

 

 

 

Marshland near St Maurice d'Etelan - © armées.com

The B26 probably crashed in one of these fields in the marshland between Norville and St Maurice d'Etelan. © armées.com

 

 

Church of St Maurice d'Etelan - © armées.com

  "I ran up road to a small forest near a small cathedral." © armées.com

 

Vieux Port - © armées.com

John Nekervis says he crossed the Seine on a Ferry in Faixport. Faixport doesn't exist and he was probably referring to Vieux-Port. There used to be a ferry service in Vieux Port. On the other side, of the Seine, we can see the slope that was used by cars to board the ferry. We can also see the remains of an old wharf which seems to indicate that at some point in time there was a pedestrian only ferry service. © armées.com

 

Garage where John Nekervis was hidden - © armées.com

John Nekervis was hidden by Mr Cavé in the left part of this building. © armées.com

 

US military Jeep - © armées.com
Mr Cavé, the grandson of the hero who hid John Nekervis owns several WWII US Jeeps. © armées.com

 

 

 

Source:

 

Escape report: http://media.nara.gov/nw/305270/EE-1404.pdf  

 

Additionnal information:

 

http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=2473

 

http://www.b26.com/guestbook/2006.htm#j._stephen_nekervis_jr.

 

Article Courrier Cauchois

 
     

 

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