Bob Anthony Hendley
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Bob Anthony Hendley

The Great Escape

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About Him

Overview… a grounded World War II fighter pilot. An American enlisted in the British Royal Air Force, Hendley finds himself captive in a Nazi POW camp. The prisoners conspire to escape the camp by constructing three hidden underground tunnels, code-named Tom, Dick, and Harry. The escape operation is big enough that it requires specialization, and Hendley is delegated the task of “scrounger,” a wide-ranging role that has him work the German guards so as to procure specific tools required by his fellow conspirators.

Personality… patriotic, noble, and humanistic. To most, the war seems like a larger-than-life force, but Hendley is able to keep things in perspective. He demonstrates his concern for prisoner morale when he launches an impromptu 4th of July celebration, marching merrily around the grounds and doling out the batch of moonshine he cooked up with fellow American Virgil “The Cooler King” Hilts. And when fellow prisoner Colin Blythe loses his vision doing his part to assist the escape plan, Hendley vows to stick with him once they make it out. “Colin's not a blind man as long as he's with me,” Hendley proclaims. “And he's going with me!”

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