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ID
b171
Title
"Free Choice: Free World."
Genre
Story
Page Count
5
Word Count
1420
Publisher
Royal Air Force Journal
Publication Year
1942
Document Types
First-Person Narratives
Flying Officer X Stories
Topics
War, Foreign Soldiers

A "Flying Officer X" story involving a Lithuanian couple who run a restaurant in England. The narrator finds common ground with them in remembering one of their countrymen who entered "a war he had no need to enter." The story concerns the true story of Romualdas Marcinkus, the only Lithuanian in the RAF. On February 12, 1942 Marcinkus flew out of RAF Tangmere to attack the destroyers protecting the battleships S.S. Scharnhorst and S.S. Gneisenau as they made their 'dash' up the English Channel from the port of Brest. He was shot down, captured, and made a prisoner-of-war in Stalag Luft III, where he was among the first 10 men to make it out of the camp during the "Great Escape." He was recaptured and shot; his ashes were reinterred, along with those of 48 of the 50 other murdered officers, at Poznan Old Garrison Cemetry. In Royal Air Force Journal (October 17, 1942), There's Something in the Air (1943), The Stories of Flying Officer 'X' (1952). Reprinted in Slipstream: A Royal Air Force Anthology (1946).