PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Stevens, Peter
Date of birth: February 15th, 1919 (Hannover/Hannover, Germany)
Date of death:  July 16th, 1979 (Toronto, Canada)
Nationality:  British
BIOGRAPHY: 
Service number 88219, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves.

Squadron Leader Peter Stevens was an RAF No. 144 Squadron Hampden bomber pilot who was shot down on ops over Berlin September 7/8, 1941. He crash-landed near Amsterdam and was taken POW. During his 3 years and 8 months as a prisoner, he made 8 separate escape attempts, and contributed significantly to countless others.
In reality, Peter Stevens was a German Jew living in London, born Georg Hein in Hannover, who committed identity theft in order to enlist in the RAF on 3rd September 1939. As a POW in his own country, he was not entitled to any protection under the Geneva Convention, and would have been executed by the Germans if his true identity had been discovered.

He left the Royal Air Force on 29th June 1947 to join MI6. In 1952 he emigrated to Toronto, Canada.

Promotions:
2nd November 1940: Pilot Officer on probation;
2nd November 1941: Flying Officer (war subs.);
2nd November 1942: Flight Lieutenant (war subs.);
13th August 1945: Squadron Leader.
     
MILITARY CROSS (MC)
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Unit: No. 144 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: May 17th, 1946
Action: Citation:
"Flight Lieutenant Stevens was the captain of a Hampden aircraft detailed to bomb Berlin on 7th September, 1941. After the mission had been completed the aircraft was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and had to be crash-landed subsequently, on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Flight Lieutenant Stevens set fire to the aircraft, destoryed all documents and then, in company with the navigator, commenced to walk towards Amsterdam. They met a farmer who took them to his house and gave them food, at the same time promising to put them in touch with an organisation. Both walked across country for an hour, and then hid in a hut on a football field. They were later found by German Feldgendarmerie and taken to a Military prison, remaining there for two days. They were then sent to the Dulag Luft at Oberussel. Flight Lieutenant Stevens was moved to Lubeck on 20th September, 1941. On 6th October, 1941, he was entrained for Warburg, and during the journey he made his escape, accompanied by another officer, by crawling through the ventilator and dropping to the ground while the train was in motion. Shots were fired and the train was stopped but he and his companion managed to reach a wood where they hid until the departure of the train. Shortly afterwards they jumped on a goods train and reached Hanover on 8th October. Here Flight Lieutenant Stevens made contact with some prewar acquaintances who provided him with food, money and civilian clothes. He, with his companion, then entrained to Frankfurt. Here they were challenged by Railway Police and arrested being subsequently sent to Oflag VI.B at Warburg. On 1st December, 1941, Flight Lieutenant Stevens made a further attempt to escape by disguising himself as a German Unter-Offizier. He led a party of 10 officers disguised as orderlies, and two officers disguised as guards with dummy rifles, and all marched through the gates of the camp. They had to return however as the sentry was not satisfied that the gate pass was correct. Flight Lieutenant Stevens marched his party back to the compound and the sentry was then quite unaware that the party was not genuine. A similar plan of escape was therefore adopted a week later, but on this occasion the sentry was immediately suspicious and demanded of the party their paybooks. The party then had to disperse hurriedly but two of its members were arrested. In September, 1942, Flight Lieutenant Stevens was moved to Oflag XXIB at Schubin. Here he made a fourth attempt to escape and managed to get away by means of a tunnel, carrying forges identity papers, wearing a civilian suit ans carrying a converted great-coat. He took a train to Berlin, arriving there on the evening of 5th March, 1943. He bought a railway ticket to Cologne and, when on the journey to that town, he was asked for his identity card by a Gestapo official. The latter discovered that it was forged, and Flight Lieutenant Stevens was then arrested and returned to the Oflag XXIB, receiving as a punishment 14 days in the cells. Flight Lieutenant Stevens made a further attempt on 21st April, 1943, but was unsuccessful and he served another 7 days in the cells. He was ultimately liberated by the Russian forces whilst at Stalag IIIA on the 21st April, 1945."
Details: Published in The London Gazette dated 17th May 1946.
 
     
1939-1945 STAR
 
     
AIR CREW EUROPE STAR
Details: Received with "FRANCE AND GERMANY" clasp.
 
     
WAR MEDAL 1939-1945
 
 
 
  Provide alterations or additional information
Picture source:   - Marc Stevens
Information source(s):   - Stevens M.H., Escape, Evasion and Revenge - The True Story of a German-Jewish RAF Pilot Who Bombed Berlin and Became a POW, Pen & Sword Aviation, 2009
- The London Gazette of 20th December 1940, Issue 35019
- Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 14th July 1942, Issue 35634, dated 17th July 1942
- Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 1st December 1942, Issue 35809, dated 4th December 1942
- Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 14th May 1946, Issue 37568, dated 17th May 1946
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