Sergeant J.B. Shanks. Spitfire Pilot 124 Squadron
Dieppe Raid / P.O.W.
Medals / AIR CREW EUROPE STAR / 39-45 STAR / BRITISH WAR MEDAL, Un-mounted Mint as issued with original packets.
Original Award Box, Secretary of State Printed Document ,
P.O.W. Dog-tag with string tie – STALAG 344 PRISONER No. 26869 (Very Rare)
Photograph prior to Dieppe Raid in Sergeants Uniform.
Copy Nat.Archives statement as POW on treatment etc.
Nat.Arcv. details of Dieppe Raid for that daywith Shanks mentioned as being reported down but safe.
(for additional pictures.. please move to pictures page extension)
Unit: No. 124 Squadron reformed at Castletown on 10 May 1941 as a Spitfire equipped fighter unit for the defence of Scapa Flow. In November the squadron moved south to Biggin Hill, from where it began bomber escort missions as well as taking part in the ‘Channel Dash’. In April 1942, it received new equipment in the form of the high altitude Spitfire VI.
The Squadron was among many involved with the Dieppe Raid (Operation Jubilee RAF) on 19th August 1942.
Described as one of the greatest air battles with the Allied losing over 100 aircraft, with many others damaged.
124 Squadron lost one in this operation, Spitfire Vb flown by Sgt. J.B. Shanks, crash landing after combat, and taken P.O.W.
Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf was a large, German prisoner of war camp, later renumbered Stalag 344. It is located in Poland near the small town of Lamsdorf (now called Lambinowice) in what was then known as Upper Silesia. Today on the site of the camp is the Polish Central Prisoner of War Museum. The camp initially occupied barracks built to house British and French prisoners in the First World War, but there had also been a prisoner camp during there during the Franco Prussian War of 1870-71.
In 1939 the camp housed Polish prisoners from the German September 1939 offensive. Later more than 100,000 prisoners from Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Greece, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and the United States passed through this camp. In 1941 a separate camp, Stalag VIII-F was set up close by to house the Soviet prisoners.
In 1943, the Lamsdorf camp was split up, and many of the prisoners (and Arbeitskommandos) were transferred to two new base camps Stalag VIII-C Sagan and Stalag VIII-D Teschen. The base camp at Lamsdorf was re-numbered Stalag 344.
The Soviet Army reached the camp on the 17th March 1945.
By 1943, the famous camp for Allied flight personnel in Sagan – Stalag Luft III – had become so overcrowded that about 1,000, mostly non-commissioned aircrew, were transferred to Lamsdorf. A part of Stalag VIII-B was separated by building new barbed-wire fences. Thus a camp within a camp was created. However all food was provided from kitchens operated by army personnel in the camp proper.