Bale Out!

ISBN: 9781906578510
Publisher: Colourpoint Books
Dimensions: 234 x 156mm
Cover: Colour, paperback
Illustration: 29 B&W
Pages: 96

Bale Out!

Escaping Occupied France with the Resistance
By Alfie Martin



Click here to watch the BBC Newline interview with Alfie Martin, an emotional and poignant account of his wartime experiences in Nazi-occupied France after escaping a burning plane.


Alfie Martin was born at Finaghy, Belfast in 1920. In 1938, like many young men at that time, he was hit by a feeling of patriotism.

This is a new edition of the 2005 book, republished with a slightly larger page size.

Forbidden by his mother from joining the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve "it was too dangerous!" in January 1939 he instead joined the Antrim Fortress Company, Royal Engineers. This was a Territorial Army company training one evening a week in central Belfast. Called up in August 1939 he served with the Engineers at Kilroot, Helen’s Bay and Magilligan before joining the Royal Air Force in May 1941.

It was while serving with No 102 Squadron RAF, at Pocklington, Yorkshire, as an Observer on Halifax bomber HR663, that his aircraft was shot down over the French-Belgian border and this remarkable tale of escape from German-occupied France began.

Additional Information

The Author

Alfie Martin is a Belfast man. He was born at Finaghy in 1920 and was educated at Friends School, Lisburn, before taking up employment with the Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company (now an almost forgotten part of the Royal Sun Alliance Group), at Wellington Place, Belfast on 20 July 1936.

In January 1939 he joined a Territorial Army company of Royal Engineers. Called up in August that year he served at Kilroot, Helen's Bay and Magilligan before joining the Royal Air Force in May 1941.

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