Leutnant Willy Ferling and his father (Page 181)

Ferling senior was a Hauptmann in a unit organising rail transport for the Army. At the end of the war he was in Cortina D’Ampezzo (BL) and encountered elements of NSG 9 seeking to get home overland. Asking after his son, he was told by Fritz Resch that Willi had flown out of Italy. Hptm. Ferling and Lt. Resch were taken prisoner together shortly afterward but while the older man was sent to a camp in Rimini, Resch was taken to Egypt.

Willy Ferling’s return home entailed a hazardous crossing of the River Weser (German troops having blown the bridges around his home town of Minden to forestall the Allied advance of April 1945) and evading the Belgian occupation troops who seemed likely to capture him just five minutes from home. He entered the house to find his mother so taken aback at the unexpected appearance of her (now bearded) son that he had to grab her to stop her from falling down the stairs.

New sources: conversations between Willy Ferling and NB during the NSG 9 Treffen in Bischofshofen, Austria, May 2002.

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