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Jim Auton MBE

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    "One of only three remaining RAF heroes of the Warsaw Uprising has died.
    The Advertiser reported in October how Jim Auton had received thousands of messages of thanks and support from a grateful nation in his time of need.
    Mr Auton, 95, of Newark, was praised and called a true friend of Poland in a letter signed by that country's ambassador at a time when his health was grave.
    In addition, many messages of support and thanks were sent to him via Facebook.
    Mr Auton and his comrades were instrumental in the British-led Warsaw Airlift operation, which resupplied the besieged Polish resistance, the Home Army, in their uprising against Nazi Germany during the second world war.
    Paul Trickett, Mr Auton's carer, said at the time he was a hero.
    Mr Auton grew up on RAF airfields in the 1920s and 1930s because his father was a member of ground crew who worked on the maintenance of the RAF's earliest aircraft.
    He joined up in 1941 and, having seen the devastation poured on British cities caused by the Luftwaffe, hoped to do his bit.
    He wanted to be a Spitfire pilot, but was later re-trained as a bomb-aimer.
    At only 20, he flew 37 wartime missions with 178 Squadron, but is best known for his contribution and bravery during the Warsaw Uprising.
    On August 1, 1944, after five years of Nazi rule, the resistance in Warsaw rose up in an effort to overthrow their oppressors.
    Within the next few days around 180,000 Polish civilians were killed, including an estimated 60,000 children.
    The resistance had supplies to last only three days of fighting.
    On August 12, 1944, Mr Auton and his crew flew to Warsaw to drop 12 containers with essential weapons, ammunition and medical supplies.
    During a six-hour flight to the beleagured city, he witnessed one of their aircraft shot down before he found the drop zone.
    "We must have been mad," Mr Auton told the Advertiser.
    "Planes were being shot down all around us.
    "I said we had not come all this way to drop the supplies in the wrong place.
    "You just felt like a robot and the training took over."
    Two nights later, he and his crew would return to drop further supplies.
    On his 37th mission, Mr Auton was seriously wounded, suffering damage to his lungs and he lost an eye.
    After the war he became fluent in six languages and was even asked to spy for British intelligence — but refused.
    In 1989, Mr Auton was responsible for the creation of the Warsaw Air Bridge Memorial — another name for the airlift — in Newark Cemetery, which stands next to the Polish and Commonwealth War Graves section."
    www.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/news/angels-high-hero-of-warsaw-uprising-dies-9096954/
     
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..sounds like this could be a movie = risking his life for a '''lost''' cause/etc
    ...180,000 in a few days? dang--that's got to be a record or something....?
    mass executions...? or were some sent to death camps?!
     
  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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