facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Oldest British WWII POW dies at 98

Jan. 4, 2013 at 12:55 AM   |   Comments

BOURNEMOUTH, England, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Alfie Fripp, the oldest surviving British World War II prisoner of war, died Thursday at the age of 98.

Fripp's family announced his death on Facebook, The Independent reported. He had been hospitalized in Bournemouth in southern England.

Fripp, who enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1930 when he was 17, retired in 1969 with the rank of squadron leader.

In 1939, he was newly married when he was in the crew of a plane shot down over Germany less than two months after Britain and Germany declared war. He spent more than five years in a succession of German prison camps, including Stalag Luft III, the camp made famous by the mass breakout depicted in the movie "The Great Escape."

Flight Lt. Mike Casey, a pilot captured with Fripp, participated in the escape. He was one of the 50 executed on the orders of Adolf Hitler after they were recaptured.

Fripp himself had been transferred to another camp before the escape. In 1945, he and other POWs held in camps in Poland were forced to march in winter to Germany as the Soviet army approached.

After he left the RAF, Fripp and his wife, Vera, settled in Bournemouth, where he taught school for several years.

In 2009, he visited Stalag Luft III for the first time since he had been a prisoner there.

"I'm glad I came to remember Mike -- you reflect back on all the memories and the people you knew," he said. "As for the Germans, I've forgiven them but not forgotten."

Topics: Adolf Hitler
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Rutgers sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs dead after visit to Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house Rutgers sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs dead after visit to Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house
2
Bill Clinton hints he expects to be grandfather by first of October Bill Clinton hints he expects to be grandfather by first of October
3
Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison Man who raped pit bull puppy sentenced to five years in prison
4
Cop-killer suspect Eric Frein possibly spotted, in standoff Cop-killer suspect Eric Frein possibly spotted, in standoff
5
Hiker dead in apparent bear attack in New Jersey Hiker dead in apparent bear attack in New Jersey
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback