The Colwell Diary is, arguably, one of the most popular spots in our Museum. As Gary, one of our volunteers, says, “The very fact it survived the war is incredible in itself. It gives us a detailed, unique look at the great escape from Stalag Luft 3 POW camp.”
Did you know that Armand Granbois was also a POW at Luft 3? Granbois was an Air Gunner in WWII and after being shot down over Holland, he spent two years as a POW.
Granbois served his country as a tail gunner with 405 Squadron, a dangerous, tough and often lonely task… determined following the shooting down of the aircraft (Halifax II DT723 LQ-F) on April 3, 1943 by a JU 88 night fighter… followed by 25 months as a POW…
Our Museum is fortunate to have some donated items that focus on this part of Granbois’ military career. Follow his story as we look closely at letters, cables, his logbook, and his personal diary.
Following an air operation, April 4, 1945, the RCAF Casualties Officer sent a telegram to Armand’s family, indicating that Armand was missing:
A letter was sent to the family one month later:
A newspaper clipping indicates that Granbois, previously listed as missing, has now been listed as a POW:
And a telegram confirms this news:
Colwell’s diary ends in early May. “May 1: More rain. Wandered in the bush. Fighting closer. May 2: Goons deserting. Tanks arrived at Noon. F R E E !”
Now let’s follow Granbois’ diary, beginning with his May 1st entry:
On May 16, 1945, a telegram was sent to Armand’s family, showing that he had been liberated:
But the diary entries continued:
His diary ends with an entry on the 30th:
And, included in his diary, poetry:
This is the last entry in Armand Granbois’ logbook, as he recorded the information about the crash; note the date of entry: August 8, 1945…