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.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

This past weekend association member Geert Van den Bogaert was in Savannah, Georgia to gather support for our project from the Mighty Eighth Air Force Historical Society's founding chapter. An ideal opportunity to visit the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force and its completey renovated B-17, the "City of Savannah" at the same time!

 The starboard waist gun from the outside.

 Geert inside the fuselage manning the waist gun, thinking of 'Bud' Owens in the same position on 42-29928.

With Geert here is another 'Bud', 'Bud' Porter, a World War Two 8th Air Force veteran, 'Bud' was a ball-turret gunner and is now a volunteer at the museum.

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