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Life & Times

October 3, 2013

'Code Burgundy' author to speak

LONDONDERRY — On Saturday at 11 a.m., the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire will host guest speaker John Katsaros of Haverhill, Mass.

Katsaros was a crew member aboard an ill-fated B-17 Flying Fortress that crashed into Nazi-occupied France. He was injured badly in the crash, captured by the Gestapo and interrogated as only the Nazis could do. Despite his wounds, he managed to escape, only to be recaptured later on. He escaped again and began working with the French underground while his wounds healed.

Given the code name “Code Burgundy” by the underground, Katsaros became privy to many German military secrets. He was entrusted with this information and given the job of bringing it back to the Allies in London.

To do so, he would have to escape the Nazi stranglehold on France. He elected a perilous escape route over the rugged mountains that mark the border between France and Spain. His journey was long, arduous and fraught with danger, but the information he carried was vital if the Allies were ever going to defeat the German war machine. Much of the information he delivered was only recently declassified by the U.S. Military.

Katsaros has chronicled his unique story in his book, “Code Burgundy,” which will be available for sale and signing at the museum after his presentation. He has an abundance of photographs that he will share, detailing his exploits in France, and these photos will help punctuate his colorful and informative story.

Seating is limited and is included in the price of admission to the museum. Admission is free for members of the NH Aviation Historical Society.

The museum is at 27 Navigator Road. Call 669-4820.

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