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, 28 June 2017

Visit to Ridgewell and Halstead

Last weekend Geert Van den Bogaert, Louis Hatet and Sean Claxton took a trip over to Essex to visit the airfield and museum at Ridgewell and attend the UK premier of "In The Footsteps Of Bud Owens".

Louis and Geert beside the memorial to the 381st BG by the museum

Before the film showing, the opportunity was taken to have a ride around the perimeter of the airfield, stopping at the monument commemorating those who died in the accident on 23rd June 1944.

It was of course for his life-saving actions dutring this incident that Bud Owens was awarded the Soldier's Medal.

Geert, Louis and Sean on the remains of the old main runway
In the afternoon the documentary was shown in the Empire Theatre, Halstead. A huge thank you to the folks at Ridgewell and those who run the theatre for all their organisation and hospitality.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Andorra premier

This past 6th of May, the Velle Cases Foundation in La Massana, Andorra organized a luncheon and documentary screening of "Preserving A Legacy: In the Footsteps of Bud Owens" followed by a debate about the role of Andorra in WWII. 

Hostal Palanques, La Massana, Andorra which housed evaders during WWII

David Baro Riba, mayor of La Massana and Claude Benet, president of the Velles Cases Foundation
The event was a great success and we would like to thank Claude Benet and the people of La Massana for sharing the Bud Owens story! 

Luncheon organized by the Velles Cases Foundation. A full house...

Stay tuned for more on our upcoming UK premiere on the 24th of June!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Andorra premier

We are happy to anounce the Andorra premier of our documentary on Saturday 6 May 2017! We would like to sincerely thank Claude Benet and the people of La Massana, Andorra for making this happen. A short piece recently appeared on Andorran Television to help promote the event. Please click on the image below to view.


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!