Historical Research POW
Terms and Conditions
Sgt J.H. Nekervis (serial number 13096977)
Sgt J.H. Nekervis crashed between Norville and Saint
Maurice d'Etelan (Seine Maritime, formely Seine Inférieure) on
June 12, 1944
"Ship hit by flak 20.50 or 20.55 before target. Hit in
left motor. Immediate fire. Went into dive and I was thrown twice against
ceiling of fuselage.
I landed very quickly, between Norville and St Maurice. I ran
to a grain field. Ship landed near me and blew up. I ran up road to a small
forest near a small cathedral. Two French boys with bicycles met me and beckoned
to me and took me into forest and then to a barn. One of the boys then went
and brought two men, one of whom stayed with me till dark and the other
brought me civilian clothes. They then took me to Norville to a farm house
where I was fed and then the man put me into barn for the night.
morning, the woman came and told me the Germans were looking for me. Then
the man took me in a cart back near the first barn and from there I walked
to the Seine. Got there at 11.00 hrs. Then I walked towards Rouen. That
afternoon I hid and that night slept in barn near a sawmill.
On morning of
14, I swam across the river at 10.00 hrs on outgoing tide. It took 40
minutes. On the bank was a small house next to a big house. A girl saw me
and got her brother who took me in and gave me some clothes and food and
kept me that night (Vatteville la Rue) and I stayed the next day (15 June)
and the night of the 15th in a gipsy caravan in the yard of the big house.
The man’s name was Georges Benet.
Next morning, the son of Benet took me to Faixport*, crossed the Seine on a ferry. Then he led way but I lost him and
got to Notre Dame de Gravenchon. Here I asked for a drink at a bicycle shop.
(Mr Cavé; west end of town). She brought M Prevost who speaks English (slightly
bald, medium height, 54 years old). He interrogated me and then I stayed
with the Cavé from 16 June until 31 August. Only one day out when we went to
Mme Cavé’s mother in Norville.
On 31, British came into town**. Next morning,
I went out. That afternoon, I met a British Intelligence Sgt who made
arrangements to meet me next morning. But the next morning, we went to Norville and met a Lieut Kaapengarde of Dutch troops who took me to Liaison
Officer. Thence to Canadian HQ outside of MAIN. Saw Sg there and thence to
RAF who flew us across to London 3 sept. "
* Faixport doesn't exist and he was probably referring to
the Vieux-Port ferry crossing
** Notre Dame de Gravenchon was occupied by the German army
from June 12, 1940 till August 31, 1944. Notre Dame de
Gravenchon was jointly liberated by the British and Belgian
armies. See on
http://www.brigade-piron.be/Normandie_en.htm photo of
Belgian troops crossing the Seine at Quilleboeuf / Port
From left to right: 1st Lt Roy D Voorhees (Pilot), 2nd Lt Geo L Starry
(co-pilot), 1st Lt Clifton R Street (Nav - Bomb), S:Sgt Curtis C Cox
(Engineer, gunner), S/Sgt John H Nekervis (Radio, gunner), S/Sgt
Ernest F Neubert (gunner) - Photo Stephen Nekervis
John Nekervis is the fourth from the left - Photo Stephen Nekervis
The B26 probably crashed in one of these fields in the
marshland between Norville and St Maurice d'Etelan.
"I ran up road to a small
forest near a small cathedral." ©
John Nekervis says he crossed the Seine on a Ferry in
Faixport. Faixport doesn't exist and he was probably referring to
Vieux-Port. There used to be a ferry service in Vieux Port. On the other
side, of the Seine, we can see the slope that was used by cars to board the
ferry. We can also see the remains of an old wharf which seems to indicate
that at some point in time there was a pedestrian only ferry service.
John Nekervis was hidden by Mr Cavé in the left part of
this building. © Seconde-Guerre-Mondiale.com
Mr Cavé, the grandson of the hero who hid John Nekervis
owns several WWII US Jeeps. ©
Article Courrier Cauchois