Stanley Booker

Born 1922 in Gillingham, England

Stanley Booker was a navigator on a Halifax bomber for the Royal Air Force during World War II. On 3 June 1944, his aircraft was shot down over northern France. He survived the crash and managed to make contact with the French resistance behind German lines. The plan to get him out of the country via a secret escape route was thwarted when a Belgian double agent betrayed him to the Germans. The Gestapo sent Stanley Booker to Fresnes Prison and tortured him. On 15 August 1944, he was deported to Buchenwald. In violation of the Geneva Convention, he was imprisoned there together with other Allied airman in the Little Camp.

After the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) intervened, the group was transferred to a POW camp in October 1944. Stanley Booker was taken to Stalag Luft III near Żagań in Poland. In January 1945, he was marched in the winter snow to Luckenwalde. On 20 April 1945, the Red Army took responsibility for the prisoners there. Following tough negotiations between the Allies, the British POWs were finally able to return home at the end of May 1945.

Stanley Booker continued his military career after 1945 and worked as an intelligence officer in divided Germany. He now dedicates his time to clarifying the unknown fates of British secret operatives from World War II and campaigning for recognition of the long-term effects of imprisonment in the concentration camps. On 21 December 2020, he was awarded the French Legion of Honour.

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Interview with Stanley Booker by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, 2020