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.

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: