S:Sgt Francis 'Bud' Owens was a waist gunner on B-17F 42-29928 when it was shot down over the Norman countryside in 1943.
The aircraft was part of 533rd Bomb Squadron, 381st Bomb Group(H), and was taking part in a raid on the Gnome-Rhone plant in le Mans on July 4th when it was attacked by Messerschmitt Bf-109s and finally crashed near the small village of la Coulonche.
Three of the crew of ten perished when the 'plane hit the ground, two of those who baled out were quickly captured. With local help, the remaining five attempted to make their way down to neutral Spain with a view to re-joining the fight against Nazism.
Four of them made it to Spain but 'Bud' Owens, a man who on many occasions had put others before himself, was to die of exposure in the Pyrenees, aged just 21. He now rests in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium.
Please follow our project to honour and remember 'Bud' Owens and support it if you can. Thank you.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Fund-raising walk

Our first fund-raising event was a walk from la Coulonche to Champsecret, a little over twelve kilometres (about seven and a half miles) for Normandy tourism professionals. Starting at the small monument in the village, we continued down towards the crash-site then through beautiful Foret des Andaines.
These professional guides will share the story of 'Bud' Owens in the coming months with clients to help gain support for our project.

The weather co-operated and we hope all who attended found it interesting and enjoyable.

Thank you to the walkers and everyone else who contributed.





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