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Feb 01,2008
WWII POW famous for escape attempts, dies
by UPI

LONDON - Jimmy James, a British WWII pilot famous for his attempts to escape German captivity has died at age 92.

James died Jan. 18, the BBC said.

He was captured by the Germans in 1940 when his plane was shot down over occupied Netherlands, The New York Times reported Thursday. By the time he was liberated in 1945, James had tried to escape at least 11 times. He had succeeded twice but was recaptured both times, the newspaper said.

"I was just a guy who wanted to get home; I was no hero," he was quoted as saying in The Birmingham Post.

His best-known escape occurred in 1944, when 76 Allied prisoners tunneled out of Stalag Luft III. The breakout, depicted in the 1963 movie, "The Great Escape," starring Steve McQueen, ended in the shooting deaths of 50 of the 73 men who were recaptured.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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