This is perhaps one of the lesser-known WWII escape tales, though Tommy Calnan's tale forms part of the fascinating saga of British and Allied airmen in the Stalag Luft III compounds.
In its pages we meet again Eric Williams and Mike Codner of the Wooden Horse escape, and other names - Charlie the "ferret" - that have entered the lore of Stalag Luft III. Of the Great Escape of the North Compound little is said, but it is clear that the East Compound inmates knew quickly of that escape, and learned with horror of the fate of the fifty who were recaptured and shot.
Calnan tried many escapes, and his story typifies the attitude of many airmen of that time, committed to escape both for personal and for military reasons.
The story was published much later than the "classic" tales that surfaced in the forties and fifties, but still feels cut from the same cloth.