A ‘tough’ airman: ‘Death March’ RAF hero Stephen Bacon dies at age 102

Stephen meeting an RAF fan

Stephen assembly an RAF fan (Picture: SWNS)

RAF hero Stephen Bacon, who survived the horrors of a Nazi Dying March, has died aged 102, his family members have revealed.

Yesterday they paid tribute to the “robust” airman, who served as a mid-upper gunner on Lancaster bombers through the Second World Warfare.

Stephen was captured by the enemy in January 1943 when his aircraft was shot down whereas getting back from a bombing raid over Germany.

At first it was believed he had died with the remainder of his crew and a memorial service was held for them. However it was later found the entire males, based mostly at RAF Wickenby in Lincolnshire, had survived.

Stephen escaped from the German labour camp the place he was imprisoned thrice, however was re-captured days afterward every event.

RAF hero Stephen Bacon dies at 102

RAF hero Stephen Bacon dies at 102 (Picture: SWNS)

He was additionally one in every of a whole bunch of PoWs pressured right into a Dying March – a Nazi apply during which prisoners have been made to stroll lengthy distances in extraordinarily harsh situations. And plenty of who faltered have been left to die. However Stephen discovered a technique to survive once more.

His proud son-in-law, Stuart Mitchell defined: “He must share an Military nice coat with two different males, sleeping on freezing chilly nights, typically within the open air or in barns or bombed-out factories. He was a troublesome previous man.

“Stephen was fortunate sufficient to outlive the march and be picked up by American troops close to the Dutch border.”

However Stuart, 76, stated the father-of-one, grandad-of-two and great-grandad-of-five didn’t reveal what he had been by means of till lengthy after the struggle.

He stated: “Stephen was from the era that by no means spoke about their wartime experiences. It was, he stated, simply one thing they needed to do.

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Stephen and Alice on their wedding day

Stephen and Alice on their wedding ceremony day (Picture: SWNS)

“Nevertheless, in 2015 Stephen helped with a challenge to create a spot for remembrance at Worldwide Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.

“It appeared to unearth all his fascinating reminiscences…this consists of collaborating within the Dying March.”

After the struggle, Stephen labored in weaving sheds in Burnley and Blackburn and met his late spouse, Alice. In later years, he loved dominoes at his Burnley native, the Common Williams, and strolling his canine Sam.

Stephen was additionally honoured by his native council on his one centesimal birthday.

His funeral will likely be held at Burnley Crematorium at 11.30am on October 4.