Geert had a very productive trip to Paris in preparation for our day of filming there in July in the footsteps of Bud Owens, including a wonderful meeting with historian Claire Andrieu, expert on escape and evasion in Paris, who has provided us with some valuable contacts and tips. Of course we visited the locations where Bud Owens spent in all over a month before leaving for the Pyrenees where his life ended tragically on 25 October 1945.
"Chez Jeannette" at 21 rue du Faubourg Saint Martin where Bud Owens stayed one night is now a Chinese restaurant.
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.