- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Flight Lieutenant
- No. 144 Squadron, Royal Air Force
- Awarded on:
- May 17th, 1946
"Flight Lieutenant Stevens was the captain of a Hampden aircraft detailed to bomb Berlin on 7th September, 1941. After the mission had been completed the aircraft was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and had to be crash-landed subsequently, on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Flight Lieutenant Stevens set fire to the aircraft, destoryed all documents and then, in company with the navigator, commenced to walk towards Amsterdam. They met a farmer who took them to his house and gave them food, at the same time promising to put them in touch with an organisation. Both walked across country for an hour, and then hid in a hut on a football field. They were later found by German Feldgendarmerie and taken to a Military prison, remaining there for two days. They were then sent to the Dulag Luft at Oberussel. Flight Lieutenant Stevens was moved to Lubeck on 20th September, 1941. On 6th October, 1941, he was entrained for Warburg, and during the journey he made his escape, accompanied by another officer, by crawling through the ventilator and dropping to the ground while the train was in motion. Shots were fired and the train was stopped but he and his companion managed to reach a wood where they hid until the departure of the train. Shortly afterwards they jumped on a goods train and reached Hanover on 8th October. Here Flight Lieutenant Stevens made contact with some prewar acquaintances who provided him with food, money and civilian clothes. He, with his companion, then entrained to Frankfurt. Here they were challenged by Railway Police and arrested being subsequently sent to Oflag VI.B at Warburg. On 1st December, 1941, Flight Lieutenant Stevens made a further attempt to escape by disguising himself as a German Unter-Offizier. He led a party of 10 officers disguised as orderlies, and two officers disguised as guards with dummy rifles, and all marched through the gates of the camp. They had to return however as the sentry was not satisfied that the gate pass was correct. Flight Lieutenant Stevens marched his party back to the compound and the sentry was then quite unaware that the party was not genuine. A similar plan of escape was therefore adopted a week later, but on this occasion the sentry was immediately suspicious and demanded of the party their paybooks. The party then had to disperse hurriedly but two of its members were arrested. In September, 1942, Flight Lieutenant Stevens was moved to Oflag XXIB at Schubin. Here he made a fourth attempt to escape and managed to get away by means of a tunnel, carrying forges identity papers, wearing a civilian suit ans carrying a converted great-coat. He took a train to Berlin, arriving there on the evening of 5th March, 1943. He bought a railway ticket to Cologne and, when on the journey to that town, he was asked for his identity card by a Gestapo official. The latter discovered that it was forged, and Flight Lieutenant Stevens was then arrested and returned to the Oflag XXIB, receiving as a punishment 14 days in the cells. Flight Lieutenant Stevens made a further attempt on 21st April, 1943, but was unsuccessful and he served another 7 days in the cells. He was ultimately liberated by the Russian forces whilst at Stalag IIIA on the 21st April, 1945."
Published in The London Gazette dated 17th May 1946.