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.
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
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!
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)
Harry A. Bauscher (RWG)
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
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
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
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.
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:
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!