Wing Commander Ken Rees, who has died aged 93, was the last surviving member of the digging team that constructed the tunnel used during the “Great Escape” from Stalag Luft III in March 1944.How tough was he? They cast Steve McQueen to play him. Fair weather on your last flight, Wing Commander Rees.
A gregarious, high-spirited, and at times irreverent young man (he was 21 years old at the time of his capture), Rees was a restless and troublesome prisoner, always baiting his captors and he regularly found himself in the “cooler” — the punishment block. When Hollywood filmed the escape from Stalag Luft III many drew parallels between Rees and the character of Hilts, the “Cooler King” played by Steve McQueen.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Another hero takes off on his final flight
Stephen emails to point out that another hero has mustered out: