Alfie ‘Bill’ Fripp, last of the “Great Escape” passes

| January 4, 2013

Alfie Fripp

Toothless Dawg sends us the news that Alfie ‘Bill’ Fripp, the last living member of the Stalag Luft III World War Two “Great Escape” has passed on at the ripe age of 98. Alfie didn’t actually take part in the escape made famous by the star-studded movie, but it was his job to assemble the equipment they needed to make history;

One of Alfie’s official jobs was to marshal Red Cross aid parcels, a lifeline for prisoners.

His unofficial job was to filter out the parcels coded to identify secret contents such as valves for radios or maps.

He was relocated from Stalag Luft III less than two months before the Great Escape, but equipment from those parcels almost certainly contributed to the operation.

To his eternal regret, however, his friend Mike Casey would be among 50 escapees slaughtered on Hitler’s orders when they were eventually recaptured.

Category: Blue Skies, Historical

Comments (3)

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  1. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    In the movie, the POW ranking officer is informed of the deaths of the escapees and asks the camp commandant, “And how many of the men were wounded?”

  2. David says:

    couple of great books on the subject beside’s Brickhills – “The Longest Tunnel” (in which it’s revealed that one of the tunnels never WAS found by the Germans until ex-POWs showed it to them after the war!) and “Under the Wire” about a guy whom some said was the model for McQueen’s ‘Hiltz” character (his response was that no, and he never could ride a motorcycle that well.)

  3. UpNorth says:

    Rest in Peace, Bill.