John Kevin Wood’s World War II Service

A Long Walk Home

“While bombing Tobruk the battle of El Alamein in October 1942, Flight Sergeant John Wood, RAAF, and Warrant Officer R.S. Spence, Royal Canadian Air Force, were shot down in the desert. For 27 days they walked through 560 kilometres of enemy territory, evading German and Italian patrols and surviving on emergency rations of bully beef, malted milk tablets and one can of tomato juice. From wrecked vehicles they scavenged drinking water and rubber tyres for new soles when their boots gave out. When they were finally picked up by a British patrol, they had each lost 13 kilograms.” (These words written and put on display with this photo by the Australian War Memorial).

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