In one of the prison camps, prisoners were held adjacent to a marshalling yard, used to provide equipment to build the Burma railway - a strategic target for American bombers. After loading rails on wagons one morning, Fred returned to the camp for a free afternoon, on what he recalls as one of the worst days in his three and a half years of captivity.
He recalls reading a book which he had managed to salvage which had several loose pages. He was quite close to some barbed wire and a gust of wind whipped away one of the pages and deposited it on a spike of the barbed wire. He went close to the wire to retrieve the page when the Jap guards started shouting and made him stand to attention for about an hour. After that and for further punishment, he was then beaten about on both sides of the head with a rifle butt, which left him completely deafened.
Later that night American bombers targeted the marshalling yard and about eight bombs overshot the yard hitting the Pow camp and killing 250 prisoners. Among those killed were the five men who shared the hut in which they and Fred were sleeping. When the bombs dropped they fled for cover, while he slept on, completely unaware of the sound of the bombs dropping. He sadly recalled how they had made slit trenches in case of bombing raids and obviously his mates dived for the trenches, but were killed by bomb splinters, their hut was undamaged. Ironically the two violent blows to his head saved his life.
Someone from above was really look out for him that day.