Jack Harrison, 97, who survived the Great Escape plot by Allied prisoners in a German prison in World War II, died June 4 at a veterans' home in Bishopton, Scotland.
As one of the camp's gardeners, Mr. Harrison helped dispose of the dirt excavated from three escape tunnels. He was 98th on the list of about 200 inmates designated to make the escape on March 24, 1944, but only 76 got away before guards detected the breakout. The breakout was celebrated in the 1963 film The Great Escape starring Steve McQueen and James Garner.
Only three men managed to reach safety. Adolf Hitler ordered the execution of 50 recaptured escapees, and 23 others were returned to custody. British news reports said that Mr. Harrison was believed to be the last survivor of the plot, but this could not be confirmed.
"I guess it was a blessing in disguise I never made it through, as most were shot," Mr. Harrison said in an interview last year. "But the main purpose wasn't just to escape. It was to outfox the Germans. It was a huge moral victory. It humiliated Hitler and gave the Nazis a bloody nose."
Mr. Harrison was a Royal Air Force pilot who was shot down and captured in November 1942 on his first mission. He was taken to Stalag Luft III prison near Sagan in eastern Germany (now Zagan, Poland). After the war, he resumed his teaching career. - AP