Veteran Andrew Wiseman
Born in the German capitol Berlin to Polish Jewish parents, Andy’s early childhood was defined by the rise of the Nazi’s and the impact that had upon his family.
Returning to their native Warsaw in Poland, Andy’s parents decided to send their son to England to escape the gathering clouds of war and possible German invasion. Upon arrival, Andy attended school in the south of England before deciding to fight the Nazi’s and join the Royal Air Force.
With his parents and extended family suffering terrible depravity in German occupied Poland, Andy passed through selection for RAF aircrew and found himself passing through training and posted to an operational front line Bomber Squadron at RAF Leconfield in North Yorkshire.
Number 466 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force was typical of a Bomber Command outfit. Whilst the majority of the crews hailed from Australia, there were aircrew from all parts of the British Empire and Dominions – all joined in a common cause to fight Nazism.
Assigned to Halifax LV956 Skippered by young Australian F/Sgt Barry Casey RAAF, the crew completed operations during the pre-D-Day build up targeted towards destroying the French railway system, vital to the German forces in Normandy. On a return operation to the rail marshalling yards at Tergnier in France, Andy and the crew were caught by a German night fighter just after bombing the target. As the aircraft caught fire Andy was forced to parachute out into the darkness and confusion of occupied France – three of the crew including the Pilot Barry Casey died in the crash.
Andy Wiseman was captured and imprisoned at Stalag Luft III. Acting as a special interpreter inside the camp, Andy translated for senior officers and always was first to hear the ‘breaking’ news. Evacuated westwards during the Long March, Andy found himself back behind the wire at Lückenwalde PoW camp near Berlin. Andy eventually returned to the UK and left the RAF at the end of the war.
Image: Veteran Andrew Wiseman during the building of the Project 104 Hut in August 2008.