Johnny Pohe and the Great Escape
by Philip Cleaver
Porokoru Patapu (Johnny) Pohe was a daring and gifted pilot who flew bomber aircraft in the Second World War. In 1943, after twenty-two successful missions, his aircraft was shot down and he was captured. Johnny was taken to Stalag Luft III, a prison camp deep in Nazi Germany. This article tells the story of an ambitious prison escape that ended tragically for Johnny and for many others. It includes information about Māori involvement in the Second World War and about the devastating impact of bombing civilians in Germany.