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.

Friday, 25 November 2016


Our premier in Pittsburgh was a great success. A fantastic moment for all involved, after 2 years of hard work, with a great reception from the audience. Thanks to all who attended and the many donors who helped make this project a reality. Stay tuned in 2017 for additional screenings as we will continue to raise support to help make a French version of the documentary.

Our narrator, Tim Lambert

Old friends and new came along 

Geert Van Den Bogaert introducing the film

Three of our star particpants, Louis Hatet, Hayley Hulbert and Luke Oman

More updates to follow soon.........

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

4 days to go...

In just a few days, on Sunday the 23rd of October, our documentary film will be premiered at Our Lady of The Sacred Heart High School Auditorium, 1504 Woodcrest Avenue, Coraopolis, PA.

Several of the particpants will be in attendance.

Admission is free. If you'd like to attend, please contact us at budowens381@gmail.com

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


Things are heading towards a conclusion with our documentary project. The trailer for the film can be viewed on Youtube here:

Monday, 26 September 2016


After 9 intense months of post-production we are excited to anounce the premier of our documentary "Preserving A Legacy: In The Footsteps of Bud Owens" at 2PM on Sunday 23rd of October 2016 at the OLSH Auditorium, 1504 Woodcrest Avenue, Coraopolis, PA. Stay tuned for our trailer and hope to see you there!

Monday, 4 July 2016

73 years on....

This 4th of July marks the 73rd anniversary of the crash of B-17F 42-29928, 533rd BS, 381st BG at La Coulonche in Normandy, France. It is a day we remember the sacrifice of the three crew members who perished in the crash.
2nd Lt. George C. Williams (B)

 S/Sgt Albert G. Wackermann (BTG)

 S/Sgt. Harry A. Bauscher (RWG)

Athough he successfully bailed out and hid in occupied France for nearly 4 months, S/Sgt. Frances "Bud" Owens made that same ultimate sacrifice after dying of exposure and exhaustion in the Pyrenees Mountains on 25 October 1943. We are close to finalizing the powerful documentary that tells his story. Please consider making a donation using the "Donate" button on the right of the page to help us finish this great project. Thank you

Saturday, 18 June 2016


We are happy to anounce that journalist Tim Lambert has accepted to be the narrator for our upcoming documentary in the Footsteps of Bud Owens. Thank you Tim!

A Pittsburgh area native like Bud Owens, Tim worked in radio for more than 23 years and currently serves as the multimedia news director at WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Over the course of his career, he has been honored with dozens of state, regional and national awards. He has also been recognized with four National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Tim has an avid interest in the history of World War II and has been of great support to our project from the start. Please keep up your support as well and consider making a donation to help us finish this great documentary.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Yet more progress....

After collecting a large number of archive pictures and footage the documentary team is currently reviewing the close to 15 hours of footage from the filming we did last year in the footsteps of waist gunner SSgt. Francis "Bud" Owens. Important work in preparation for the final edit of the documentary.

Please keep up the support and donate! Thank you!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


The team is currently working hard, collecting a large number of archive pictures and footage to be used for the documentary. A chance to meet again with the Duval sisters Claudine (Bourban) and Yvette (Audigé) of La Coulonche, eye witnesses of Bud Owens' B-17 crash at Val de Vée on 4 July 1943.

We rigged up a basic set-up to take photos of photos in lieu of a scanner:

Amongst the photos we copied was this one of the Duval family from 1942:

Monday, 22 February 2016


A big thank you to our friends at the Ridgewell 381st BG museum for honouring Sgt. Francis "Bud" Owens by creating a commemorative bomb plaque in his name. You do fantastic work!

Friday, 15 January 2016

8th AF News write up...

 2016 will be a very exciting year for our documentary project as we have officially started post production. We are thankful for all the support we have recieved in 2015 and hope the same in 2016! We start the year with a great article in the 8th AF Historical Society Newsletter. 

A big thank you to Jerry McLaughlin and Debra Hobson Kujawa for making this happen!