Shot down in 1942, young Australian fighter pilot John Williams DFC became a POW in the notorious Stalag Luft III camp in Germany. John's niece Louise Williams years later has pieced together his life.
• Author: Louise Williams
• Publisher: Allen & Unwin
• RRP: Paperback: $29.99
John had joined the air force shortly before the outbreak of war and, in the larrikin tradition, led his squadron into air combat over the deserts of Libya and Egypt dressed in sandals and shorts.
John and his best mate Rusty Kierath were among the 76 POWs who tunnelled their way out of the supposedly escape-proof camp under the noses of their German guards, in what later became the Hollywood blockbuster The Great Escape.
Their families never learned what really happened once the pair made it out into the forest.
A True Story of the Great Escape shows John’s life, from his upbringing in a tight-knit family hit hard by the Depression, to his exploits in the air, and the many missing details of the tragic escape.