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, 6 July 2015

Day 2...

The second day of the Bud Owens documentary project. An early start for an historic march from Champsecret to Saint-Bomer-les-Forges. Today also marked the 72nd anniversary commemoration of the crash of Bud Owens' B-17 and a moving ceremony was filmed at La Coulonche. Later that day the group left Flers in Normandy for Paris where we will discover the next chapter of Bud's journey! Please keep supporting our project if you can via Paypal. Thank you!

Louis Hatet talking about his great grandfather, André Rougeyron

The team with local support beside the monument in la Coulonche at the end of the ceremony

Mr Doucet kindly brought along one of the oxygen tanks from the B-17, the damage caused by fire from the German fighters a sober reminder of the events of 72 years ago

Filming in Flers outside the school where 'Bud' was hidden
Just before departure for Paris.... the team with Vanessa and Russ, whose willingness to offer their invaluable help is much appreciated.

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