Eyewitness account: "Poisonous Inferno: World War II Tragedy at Bari Harbour" by George Southern

December 28, 2009

Dear Gregory,

Having read your website I thought you might be interested to read: 

Poisonous Inferno - Airlife Publishing UK 2002 

I am its author and was an eyewitness to the events of that night - I spent the night in a small boat in the harbour involved in rescue and firefighting work.

My account includes other eyewitness accounts by British, US and Italian survivors of the raid. The book also contains
maps and illustrations.

It is, to my knowledge, the only eyewitness account of the raid to be published.

As to myself, I live in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

I'm 88 years old and President of the Scarborough Branch of the Royal British Legion and an honorary citizen of Valetta, Malta (Malta Convoy). I was awarded the B.E.M. (Mil) in 1943 in recognition of my service in Bari harbour on the night of the raid.

Wishing you a Happy New Year

Yours sincerely,

Hello George,

Thank you for your message and best wishes.

Actually, Gregory is my surname, and Mackenzie my first name, but then that has confused people all my life, I too will be 88 on February 9 next.

The Bari raid was a disaster for the Allies all round, and then by it being hushed up by Churchill, many victims were not properly treated for their burns.

I will be looking for a copy of your book.

I return your New Year wishes, may you enjoy a healthy and happy 2010.

Best Regards,


I have a copy of your book on its way to me from Amazon UK.

Best wishes,


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