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, 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