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.
Monday, 25 May 2015
On this Memorial Day we remember Bud Owens and the principles he fought an died for. After surviving the crash of his B-17 on 4 July 1943, saving the life of his radio operator in the process, he had only one goal in mind: escape from Nazi occupied France and return to the free world. Following a 4 month journey he would die, just a few miles of his objective, from exposure and exhaustion, after carrying a fellow evader for 8 hours in the midst of a snowstorm high up in the Pyrenees mountains. Help us preserve his story which reveals the true meaning of sacrifice and reminds us of what some were willing to do for their and our freedom. Thank you.
Posted by Sean at 11:30