433 Squadron W. H. Cook Crew - Their story, Page 6a

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Toronto Star
March 6, 1945


Hurtling down in a flaming Halifax bomber one night last December in France, Flt Sergt Lorne a. Mallory, 20, mid upper-gunner, thought, “this is it”. Badly burned, he wandered in a daze all night until picked up by a Maquis farmer.

Eluding capture by Germen Soldiers on several occasions, he finally had a house topple down on him from an exploding shell. Son of Mr. And Mrs. Albert Mallory, Hiawatha Rd., Lorne arrived home yesterday. At one time he was reported missing in action.

“I vaguely remember the skipper calling out, “Hold on fellows! I’m trying for a crash landing” Lorne recalled, “My leather Helmut was in flames and I tore it off as we screamed downward.

“The French farmer later told me our kite came down like a great ball of fire. Whether I was thrown out when the plane smashed in the woods of the mountain or whether I crawled out I don’t remember. I was in a semi-conscious state for hours’

His electric flying suit was on fire and he beat out the flames. His face, hair and shoulders suffered third degree burns.

From 11pm to 8 o’clock the next day Mallory stumbled about and wandered down the mountainside. It was cold and wintery. Sometimes he fell and in his delirium thought how warm and comforting it was on the ground.

Nazis Looked for Him

“Had I given way to my delusion, I would have died from exposure,” the wounded gunner said.

The Maquis farmer took him. He stayed that day and was given food. A narrow escape from capture came when several German soldiers on motorcycles drove up to the farm and knocked loudly on the door. Mallory watched them come up and then the farmer’s daughter hustled him out the back where he hid under the veranda. He could hear the soldiers questioning the farmer and his wife about him.

At dusk that evening another Maquis agent bearing a suit of civilian clothes came and together they headed for town.

“With a scarf around my head to conceal my burned face, and a peaked hat, a cheap pair of striped cotton pants, a red sweater and wooden clogs, I walked along holding on to a cane and leaning on my friend” Mallory said, “Although the distance was about five miles it took us several hours to cover it. I fell, stumbled, passed out a couple of times, because I had no sleep and my burns were hurting worse than ever. They weren’t tended to until that night.

Along the road they encountered German soldiers and threw themselves into a ditch.

Nun Saved Him

“I owe my life to a French nun from a convent in the town,” declared Mallory. “ She came quietly into the house, and treated my burns morning and night. For the first 18 hours in bed I was dead to the world”

Then the French army began shelling the town to drive out the Germans.

“I was taken by a nine-year-old lad to the cellar and hidden in a potato bin. I hadn’t been alone there very long when a number of German soldiers came thumping down the stairs in the other part of the cellar. I could hear them moving about. They even paused in front of the door leading to the small closet where I stood pressed to the wall. I held my breath until I thought I would burst.”

A shell exploded nearby and down crashed the whole house on top of him.

“ At least, it fell on the main floor which held securely. Otherwise . . . “ and Mallory shuddered.

The French army a few hours later captured the town. Laughing soldiers knocked on the house doors and called out cheerily: “You are liberated!”


Clipping provided courtesy of Al Mallory, son of Flt/Sgt Lorne Mallory.

Image on left caption: "Yum-Yum" says Flt/Sgt Lorne A. Mallory of that chocolate cake

Image on right caption: OFFICIALLY MISSING, actually guest of the Maquis. Flt/Sgt Mallory is here united with his fiancee, Constance Pape, after arriving back in Toronto full of tales.

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433 Squadron Cook Crew - Their story Page 6a