In the COFEPOW quarterly newsletter, there is a short piece about the memoirs of Signalman W G Riley, Dishonourable Guest. He was rescued on 30 January 1945 by Americans in the Cabanatuan, Luzon Raid. Checking in my newspaper cuttings from the period, I realise that it is this raid in which Thomas Potter was rescued not the later February one. The memoirs are available at the Imperial War Museum or, for a very small fee to COFEPOW, as a PDF via the author’s son. (If anyone wants these try the COFEPOW website http://www.cofepow.org.uk or get in touch with me).
The 25 February raid at Los Banos over 2,100 internees were rescued by the 11th Airborne Division, 26 miles behind enemy lines. Many were British citizens.
Yes, would I be right in thinking that many of those liberated in the Los Banos raid were civilians? There were only 23 Brits – all soldiers as far as I can see – freed at Cabanatuan (30 Jan 45). I have the list published on the 2nd February, including Thomas Potter and W G Riley. It has been very helpful to me to be able to make the distinction between the two raids.
I must have missed this reply somehow – sorry!! Just about all of them were civilians, hence being called internees instead of POWs. Los Banos was southern Luzon, the old school of agriculture.
General E.M. Flanagan, a retired former member of the 11th Airborne, wrote “The Los Banos Raid: The 11th Airborne Jumps at Dawn,” should anyone wish to read a complete story of this remarkable operation.