Shot down on just his second bombing raid over Germany, the late James McQueen described life as a prisoner of war in this Memories of Service episode. Then 93 years old, Invercargill-born McQueen recalled bailing out from his burning Wellington bomber and eventually falling into German hands. After interrogation by the Gestapo he was sent to a pow camp, where he stayed for the next two and a half years. McQueen describes life there, his eventual release and the psychological impact of his experiences, including the feeling of failure prompted by his brief time in combat.
When they took me back they put me in a cell on my own. I was just 21 at that time, and that was a low point when I discovered myself alone, because I hadn’t learned to cope with solitude like that.– James McQueen
ILA Film Productions