R.I.P. John “The Mole” Fancy

‘The Mole’, Second World War POW tunnel digger, dies aged 95

Warrant Officer John Fancy, who acquired the reputation of being one of the most determined escapers the Germans had encountered, dug eight tunnels under camps in Poland, Lithuania and Germany.

He helped several comrades to escape, and dug himself to freedom on three occasions, only to be recaptured.

Despite harsh punishments, he never gave up and one of his prized possessions in later life was a 10 inch butter knife, issued to him by his German captors to eat meals, which he used to dig the tunnels. His efforts involved drawing elaborate plans and maps.

Mr Fancy spent nearly five years in prison camps after he was shot down over France on May 14, 1940. He and his crew had successfully bombed bridges over the Meuse, near Sedan, which were important to the advancing German army.

Summing up his war, he once said: “After four years, 10 months and four days I landed back in England after taking off on what should have been a four-hour trip.”

Emphasis added by me.

Can you imagine that? Not just the deprivation of the camps, but having escaped only to be recaptured?

Yet his spirit didn’t break! He went right back at it!

An example for all time.

Previously here:

R.I.P.: Eric “Digger” Dowling

Explore posts in the same categories: Other, Reference - Life

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