Donald Paul Breeden co-pilot #42-3436 - MIA

 

Eygelshoven in the very south of the Netherlands, October 14, 1943. That is the place and date where Donald Paul Breeden went missing after his B-17 got shot up on its way to Schweinfurt to bomb the Kugelfischer ball bearings works on a day that is now known as Black Thursday.
It is said that he bailed out of his plane but he was never found.

Donald Paul Breeden went missing in that action and is remembered on ‘The Walls of the Missing’ at the US Cemetery in Margraten - The Netherlands.

At this US Cemetery Margraten there is a campaign going to give all men and women buried there ‘a face’ - to get a photo of each of them. I promised to get one of Donald Paul Breeden. Here below the result of that search and more research on him going missing.


Publications of the unveiling


New
How a propeller bushing travelled home


Going on

Searching relatives Martin, Wells and Manley
Developments - a continuing story


Our FB-page

Other publications


Dutch and German stories
Een Nederlandse samenvatting

Die Geschichte von Helmut Brinkmann


       
                                             

                                       

Home town
Donald Paul Breeden was born on 9th of April 1921 and went to school in Worley, Idaho. That is in Kootenai County on the tribal area of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation.

Donalds parents were Clarence and Huldah Breeden-Meyers and he had 3 brothers:
- Richard J. (1918-2005).
- Lloyd G. (Januari 31, 1924 - December 25, 2011), who also flew in a B-17 of 306th BG/368 squadron in McCaulie’s crew as a ball turret gunner. Lloyd enlisted on 12 March 1943 in Spokane and survived the war.  
- Roy W. (1934-2005).

According to Mrs. Jeanne Venturino, researcher of the Kootenai County Genealogical Society:
Donald went to school in Worley School District 3. He was last found in the 1939 Index but was gone by 1940, having probably graduated high school.’

Marriage
Jeanne Venturino also found Donald’s marriage information in Coeur d'Alene, the county seat for the Worley area. ‘He married a classmate who I found in the school books: Margarette Ellen Talbot on November 1st 1941.‘ Mrs. M.E. Breeden-Talbot is also mentioned in MACR 1034.
From this marriage a child was born on January 14th 1944 - Donna Reichelsdorf - who now lives with her mother in California, as Sue Fox Moyer found out.


USAAF

Donald volunteered and entered the pilot training of the USAAF after enlisting in San Francisco (Ca) on April 9, 1941, as Jeanne Venturino mentioned. He is known in US-forces/USAAF with service number O-745041.
From Breeden’s IDPF (Individual Deceased Personnel File - inquiry dental records June 26, 1946) you can read most of his training-route (Class 43-D).



Don - 2nd from the right top row - and his class mates.





My next piece of information is from Christopher Coffman of 305th BombGroup on FaceBook: He looked into the ‘Training Class Books’ from two-engine flight schools, but Breeden is only mentioned in the logs after he is shot down.
Donald flew 5 missions as a co-pilot.

Starting on October 4th (mission #109) he flew to Frankfurt with the McDarby crew in B-17/WF-A/42-29988, the ‘Uncouth bastard‘. Mr Ben Roberts gave an account of the problems they met on their way to and from Frankfurt. With no bombardier on board and unknown bomb bay doors.

On 8th he flew to Bremen (#111) with the same (McDarby)crew in ‘Devastating Dottie’ WF-D/42-30724.
Then to the ship yards in Gdynia (#113) in occupied Poland on 9th of October with the same crew in B-17 42-3436. Below the only known picture of this B-17 in mid air in the mission to Gdynia. And with the same crew and same ship he flies on October 10th to Munster (#114).

Donald Paul Breeden gets shot down near Eygelshoven (NL) on his 5th mission on the 14th October with the same McDarby crew on its way to Schweinfurt - the famous mission #115. There he gets MIA.



Information on his (last) mission to Schweinfurt - 14 October 1943

In October 1943 Donald Paul Breeden was 2nd lieutenant and co-pilot on a B-17F from 364th squadron (badge on the right) of the 305th Bomb Group (triangle G) in the 8th USAAF. They flew from US station 105 Chelveston (UK).


He flew in the B-17F #42-3436 / WF-R that arrived new from the factory on September 18th in Chelveston. The picture above was made on its way to Gdynia.
Mission 14-10-1943 was #115 of the 8th USAAF and went to Schweinfurt to bomb the Kugelfischer ball bearing works - a vital industry because you don’t have an airplane, tank, truck or boat without ball bearings.


Route to Schweinfurt



Take off was around 10-10.15 hours from Chelveston.

Engineer/top turret gunner Arthur Linrud in his account of that fateful Thursday states: ‘Our plane took off in early morning midst rain showers and dark heavy clouds. We climbed to somewhere near 6000 ft. before clouds thinned out the sun shone. Considerable time was lost getting assembled into formation of “combat boxes” due to heavy cloud cover over England.’


A scheme of a combat box of 12 B-17.
A/C 42-34336 flew in the 4th (bottom/low low element).



A picture (the only of A/C 42-3436 found) of such a combat box with Breeden’s B-17 - 1 of 112 - heading or Gdynia on 9 October 1943. See all the black dots = B-17’s.



From the report of the 305th BG to 40th Combat Wing:



The escorting P-47’s left at 13.33 hours.

Map reference 5102N-0555E is between Genk and Opglabbeek in Belgium.

Crash time of the A/C 42-3436 was around 13.45 hours; 12 minutes later.

McDarby said to Mr Kuhl that they never caught up to any wing; ‘We were all by ourselves’ and a straggler swarmed by German fighters. Their first head-on attack damaged #1 engine, but it could not be feathered.
Arthur Linrud: ‘Suddenly our plane shook violently from impact of an explosion of a canon shell or rocket as it smashed into the rear part of #2 engine ripping a hole in the lending edge of the wing and leaving the engine a smoking mess of ruin. This not more than 15 feet from my turret and the pilot seat.... Smoke continued to pour out of no. 2 engine area as we turned and dove down. Machine gun bullets hitting the fuselage had the sound effect of hailstones hitting a tin roof. Where smoke had been pouring back before, now flames were red and fanned by the wind quickly spread back to the fuel supply and soon an huge ball of fire trailed back past the tail section of the plane.... Looking around, several chutes were visible in the sky and the ways down and off, my eyes caught the sight of the plane falling out of control, the burning wing had broken off.’


The tail part crashed in Eygelshoven (NL) - the nose part with the bombs just across the border near Finkenrath (G).

See an old map from those days below on this page. On actual maps you have to look for Herzogenrath-Hofstadt.


                                           


The Germans side

Crash cause was rocket- or bullet damage in no. 2 engine (left wing closest to pilot) caused by the German-Austrian Oberfeldwebel Anton-Rudolf Piffer in Focke Wulf 190A of 2.JG 1. It was his 10th victory.

Photo left: A-R Piffer.


Near or over Eygelshoven there were 3 German fighter planes involved of which one was probably shot down by tail gunner Dominic Lepore: the Me-109G-6 / White 12 ‘Werknummer’ # 15389 of ‘Feldwebel’ (sergeant) Helmut F. Brinkmann. He crashed in a field in ‘de Vink’ (between Kerkrade-Chevremont and Eygelshoven) killing him. He belonged to the 7th ‘Staffel’ (III. Gruppe) of Jagdgeschwader 1 then flying from Eelde? His body was not recovered. These details are mentioned by Mr. Ron Pütz in a letter to Mr. Linrud of November 27, 1988 and in a ‘Proces verbaal’ of the police of 14 October 1943 in Mr Pütz’ book ‘Duel in de wolken‘. 

Helmut F. Brinkmann was born in Stade-Camp (G) on 13-6-1920 and declared dead on 31-12-1945 by the ‘Amstgericht’ in Stade on 31-8-1959.
Helmut Brinkmann moved to Klein-Fredenbeck in 1928. There his name is mentioned on the ‘Gefallenendenkmal’ - a memorial for all victims of the war from and in Fredenbeck.

Brinkmann must have been a new pilot in his Staffel because in the document of I got from WASt in Berlin he is still noted as being part of the 1. Kompanie Flieger-Ausbildungs-Regiment 61 in Heiligenbeil (now Russia-Kaliningrad).
His dogtags indicate that he was first an infantry soldier of Inf.Reg. 47.

On April 1. 1943 the III. group of JG 1 was newly established on Deelen airfield. Part of the staff came from the flyings schools and Helmut Brinkmann was probably one of them. They were ready to fly on 10. June 1943 and flew with Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6. In September they moved from Deelen to Eelde - near Groningen. From there Brinkmann made his last flight.

He was one of the 37 dead or missing pilots of this group in 1943; 28 were due to actions of allied forces.
The III. group lost 76 planes that year; 53 were shot down by allied forces. They shot down 49 allied planes in 1943.

Source: Lexikon der Wehrmacht.

In a message I got from Dennis Lepore - son of tail gunner - in February 2017 he said his father told him he shot down one German airplane. Most probably it was Brinkmann’s Me-109. This was confirmed by local people who spoke to Ron Pütz before November 1988 and written down in his letter to Arthur Linrud mentioned above.
Photo right: Helmut Brinkmann.

Die Geschichte von Helmut Brinkmann auf Deutsch. 


                                                   


Bailed out but missing

Donald Paul Breeden is said to have bailed out uninjured (according to pilot Dennis McDarby in MACR 1034). Eye witness of which I interviewed one, spoke of seeing 6 parachutes, but the official Dutch report mentions only 5. Breeden went missing and was declared legally dead on October 15th 1944 - one year and one day after the date he went missing.
After an investigation in 1948/1949 a review board in 1951 concluded that his remains were ‘non-recoverable‘ - see below on this page.

He was awarded the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal. (Source awards: Honorstates.org).

 
 
 

                                      

From the Dutch protocol

The official Dutch protocol as I found it in the archives of the local historical society ‘Eygelshoven door de eeuwen heen’.




Translation from the Dutch

1 A.at 13.06 hours - air danger level ‘Ceasar’ declared;

2 B.at 13.06 hours - air danger level ‘Antoon’ declared;

3 C.after that an aerial battle took place in the surroundings of the Eygelshoven municipality, which moved towards Eygelshoven

4 D.at 13.40 the signal ‘air raid alarm’ was given.

5 E.at that same moment a plane dropped from the sky. Afterwards it appeared to be a American 4-engined bomber. The tail part of this airplane went down in a meadow near the German border. The other part crashed on German territory. As the bomber was hit, a number of pilots bailed out. 5 crew members did land within the borders of Eygelshoven. Members of the local ‘Schutzgruppe’ (police) en the Mayor of Eygelshoven took these pilots prisoner and kept them untill they were picked up by members of the German Wehrmacht (army). In the tail part that landed within  the municipality boundaries 2 more pilots were found. From an investigation it appeared that they were already dead.


The German protocol

From Mr. Manfred Zankl from the Archiv der Stadt Herzogenrath I got this information - ‘das amtliche Bericht’ - their official protocol.




Translation from the German

On October 14th 1943 there was an air raid alert from 13.20 till 14.18 o’clock. The group of airplanes was attacked by German fighters. This caused the crash of a 4 engined bomber on a field with beets about 13.50 o’clock.
It crash landed burning 200 meters north of the rail road track Herzogenrath - Übach-Palenberg in the hamlet of Finkenrath.
At the landing the airplane was completely destroyed due to the detonation of its bomb load. Beside the main crash crater a dud bomb was found. Some 100 meters away in a meadow a second crater was found.

Two mutilated and partly burned* corpses were found nearby the crater of the burned airplane. There is little damage done. The wing with two other dead bodies lie on Dutch territory.


From another airplane a flyer was arrested after he landed with his parachute in the neighborhood of the ‘Rimburger Forest’. The parachute was ensured. The arrested air man was picked up.

Both the dead American soldiers were buried properly at the ‘Waldfriedhof’ in Merkstein. Now this cemetery is also called ‘Lange Hecke’.


* In October 2018 I spoke with Mr Günter Ortmanns of Herbach (G). He mentioned seeing both crew members; one lying in a ditch. But in his opinion they were not ‘partly burned’, as stated in the official German report.

He also mentioned the find of a part of a lower jaw. He thinks that it was put to the other remains in one of the 2 coffins.


In this German report there is another parachutist/pilot mentioned who landed near the Rimburger Forest - not from the McDarby crew.
It might have been crew member(s) from the 2 B-17’s of 305th Bomb Group shot down near Floverich (Lang/43-37750/MACR 779) and Puffendorf (Holt/42-29988/MACR 914)
in Germany - some 12 km NE of Eygelshoven. 
Co-pilot Stan Alukonis, tail gunner Steve Krawczynski and ball turret gunner Ken Maynard were the 3 evaders of the Floverich crash. According to Sue Moyer Ken Maynard was picked up by the Germans after 4 months. Alukonis and Krawczynski used the ‘Comet-line’ and got to Gibraltar and back to the UK.
The distance in a straight line from Rimburger Forest to the site of the tail part - where the story of Zef Dassen starts - is some 1.000 meters in a SW-direction. This direction ‘fits’ with the direction of the wind - East 1m/sec - according to the Royal Dutch Meteo Service - KNMI at that date.


Reports in the Dutch (German controlled) and free press in 1943.
                                                   

                                        


Landing - capture and first medical care
All the parachuted crew members were arrested nearly immediately by German and Dutch policemen. From McDarby it is said that he landed near the Putstraat where a coal trader - was it Mr Ge(e)lissen(?) - offered him a hide away. But he refused saying: ‘Thanks, I stay with the boys.‘


According to information from Jack Huntjens one crew member landed near the house of the potatoo trader Mr. Wierts on the corner of Nieuwenhagerweg and Waubacherweg.


Crawford was first treated at the home of an ‘Auslandsdeutscher’ (a German living in The Netherlands). Other captured crew members were first treated for their wounds at the emergency room of the coal mine Julia.

Photo: main entrance of the office building.

Dominic Lepore had head injuries from shrapnel of a 20 mm grenade and was put on a bicycle to get him to the mine. Arthur Linrud pushed this bike together with 2 civilians.
Linrud: ‘I had landed on the very edge of a small town on the border of southern Holland and Germany, ... Our attention was drawn to a small group of people, about 100 yards off gathered in a circle. We made our way over there and I immediately recognized the tail gunner from our plane (Dominic Lepore) sitting on the ground, his hands covering his head. A 20mm shell had exploded above and behind him in the plane sending many small pieces of metal through the flying cap and into the back and top of his head. This I learned shortly after he started to talk. A nearby bicycle was brought and we set him on it. I walked on one side, a civilian on the other to guide it and hold him on.’

Crawford landed with his cheek in the barbed wire fence of the coal mine and McDarby sprained or fractured his ankle after loosing his flying boot on his descent by parachute. And Roberts had bumped his head at the tail while baling out.

After first aid - or later - they met other crews member(s) from also shot down planes.
Mr George C Kuhl in his book (pag 148) mentions that it was Lt Smith of the Murdock crew, whose ship crashed in Limmel some 30 km west from Eygelshoven. It is most probable that they met in Maastricht.
Arthur Linrud mentions getting ‘thick red bean soup with bread’ on his first evening on the continent. That must have been in Maastricht where they stayed in a ‘room of an old church school building’ according to Mr. Linrud.

Mr. Kuhl: They were loaded into a small open truck and given an ovation by some 150 Dutch onlookers as this truck pulled away. The crew members responded by waving back.

Mr. McDarby - writes Mr Kuhl in his book (pag 149) - was hospitalized in a ware house that was in use as a hospital. In the morning he found out that ‘hundreds’ patients around him were wounded German soldiers from the North African campaign.
Mr. Lepore - says Mr. Linrud - was also brought to a hospital. Was it the same as Mr. McDarby?

                                            


POW Camps

Arthur Linrud, Hosea Crawford, Dominic Lepore and Ben Roberts who landed close to the tail part, ended up in Stalag 17B near Krems in Austria via Maastricht, Amsterdam and Frankfurt/Wetzlar - the Dulag.

They stayed in Krems till April 8th 1945. Then they marched 18 days (230 km) to Braunau am Inn where they were liberated on May 3rd.

Dennis McDarby - as an officer - went to Stalag Luft III in a forest near Zagan (now Poland). From there he went south-westward (500 km) - on foot and by box cart - at the start of 1945 and was liberated on April 29th 1945 in Stalag VII A in Moosburg in Bavaria by the US 14th armored division.


                                             


Burials
Shot down by a group of 3 German fighters, exploded and crashed at Eygelshoven near Aachen (G), parts fell across the Dutch-German border on a field near Finkenrath. 
The Navigator - 2Lt Martin - and Bombardier - 2Lt Manley - were found outside the wreckage and first buried in Forrest Cemetery (Lange Hecke), Merkstein-Germany on October 18th at 10 o’clock. Manley in grave 513, Martin in grave 514.

Both Waist gunners - Sgt Henlin and Sgt Wells - found in the tail in The Netherlands were first buried in General Cemetery at the Tongerseweg in Maastricht (NL) on October 19 at 10 o’clock. Henlin in grave CC 113. Wells in grave CC 112.

All four are mentioned in AV 348 sheets 26-31 - to be found in the US Nat. Archives.



A view of plot CC of the General Cemetery in Maastricht with the military graves in 1945.



From MIA to KIA
It is written in a war dairy that the bodies of both the waist gunners stayed in the field near the crash site of the tail part for a few days covered under their parachutes.
They now are buried at Margraten - while Sgt Wells (right waist gunner) is re-buried in the US in 1948.

They all 5 were first noted ‘Missing in Action’. But declared dead after receiving ‘Grabmeldungen’ from the German authorities via the Red Cross. Above Roy Henlin’s ‘Grabmeldung’. The families were informed a second time - from hope to grief.

                                                

                                                     

Donald Paul Breeden, Leonard Roy Henlin and the other 8 brave men in A/C 42-3436 were 10 of the 639 crew members lost that day - killed, missing, POW or interned in Switzerland.
Read the biographies of the crew members of A/C 42-3436.


Their B-17 was one of the 291 that actually started for Schweinfurt and one of the 60 B-17‘s lost.
Of the 305th Bombardment Group only 3 B-17’s reached Schweinfurt - and only 2 made it back home to Chelveston. The B-17 of Dienhart/42-30831
of the 364th squadron crash landed in Aesch-Switzerland. The 364th squadron was totally destroyed that day - within 13 minutes and before it even could cross the Rhine.
More on the 305th BG that day.

                                          


The crash-site - now US POMS in Eygelshoven

On 14 October 1943 (‘Black Thursday'), a 305th BG (364th BSq) B-17 piloted by 2nd Lt. Dennis J. McDarby was shot down and crashed at about 13.45 hrs. in Eygelshoven, the Netherlands. Eygelshoven is the present-day home of the US Army's Combat Equipment Group - Europe, and it appears the plane (and three of its crew) crashed on the very ground now (as said in 2002) occupied by our HQ. We are interested in creating a memorial and conducting a military ceremony connected with the event.  


A photo of the situation in the fifties.


The crash site back then
On this Edugis map from 1935 the no longer existing hamlet of Finkenrath (wrongly spelled Frokenrath) is mentioned as well as the now closed coal mine ‘Mijn Julia’.
The river Worm - meandering/streaming north - is the border-river.
Source: Edugis.nl - historical map Rimburg 1935





Aerial view from Mr. Oswalds Ortmanns Power Point presentation.
Tail - Eygelshoven - near boating pond (trapezium shape) north of coal mine Julia.

Nose - Finkenrath - on farm land of Wilhelm Handels. Thanks to ‘Eygelshoven door de eeuwen heen’.



In the red oval Mr. Wilms’ and Mrs. Wauters-Martini’s information of the location of the crash site of the nose in perspective with the map of Mr. Ortmanns.


In the field you see a lighter patch; the place the bomber crashed?

The little dots in the middle square are the trees of the orchard mentioned.








In October 2018 I spoke with Mr Günter Ortmanns. He thinks the round spot is the crash crater.











Left wing

Jack Huntjens told me where the left wing fell down.
The grand parents of Ger Jansen had a shop on the Rimburgerweg, where in the garden/court yard of their home the wing crashed down.


On the land opposite to the entrance of the former swimming pool of the coal mine Julia another crew member landed. This was the land owned by the Jansen family.
On the photo (1960‘s) along the trees to the top: the Rimburgerweg - in the circle the swimming pool of the coal mine Julia.                                   


                                                   


How to get MIA like Donald Paul Breeden in such a small crash site?

The rest of the plane crashed in 2 parts. The tail part fell north of the Dutch coal mine Julia, and the nose part near Finkenrath in Germany. Just across the river Worm. That is a distance less than 500 meters. See the aerial photo.




It is said that Mr. Breeden bailed out. But did he?
If he did as instructed while training, he should have used the escape hatch or the bomb bay doors. But Mr. Linrud stated he bailed out via the nose hatch.
From Mr. McDarby and Mr. Crawford it is not known which escape hatch they used but they all landed safely and met each other afterwards.

Shouldn’t Mr. Breeden have landed somewhere near these 3 other bailed-out survivors - if he bailed out?
But non of them mentioned seeing Mr. Breeden on the ground. Nor did Ben Roberts who landed so close to the tail part that he - as Dominic Lepore - had an opportunity to see Bob Wells dead in the tail part.

While my reading in books and archives and talking to people, many possible stories passed by. In German archive-documents that are at hand Mr. Breeden is not mentioned.
An eye witnesses I talked with - Mr. Sjir Handels - saw one of the six (I asked him twice; yes 6 not 5) - parachutes drifting in the direction of Haanrade-Rolduc. Was it Donald Paul Breeden - the only crew member who was not accounted for?
While Mr. Eduard Foitzik of Merkstein (G) still remembers seeing one of the bailed out crew members while parachuting down being caught by a propeller of the spiraling down bomber.
From a coal traders
family Dassen I got a story that an unknown pilot was picked up on that Thursday near the spot of where the tail part crashed.


                                   


Wrong place?
The most intriguing option however is the text I found in the book of Mr. George C. Kuhl (1924-2009) ‘Wrong Place! Wrong time! - The 305th Bomb Group and the 2nd Schweinfurt Raid October 14, 1943’ - published in 1993.

In his very detailed book in chapter 13 page 149 he says this - supported by the text in footnote # 39 on page 287.


                           

From these texts it may be possible that the remains of Donald Paul Breeden were first interred in Merkstein and are now interred at Margraten but in the graves of Mr. Martin and/or Mr. Manley.
And it may concur with Mr. Foitzik’s memories.

In Germany after the crash they first only counted two casualties. From the investigation in 1948-1949 it appears that the remains of more than 2 bodies were collected in Finkenrath in October 1943. From the report:








Conclusion of the review board in 1951: ‘non-recoverable’.



Why was there no action taken to find out who this third person might have been?
Because in the time from 1943 till their final burial in Margraten these remains were several times ‘handled’. From Finkenrath to Margraten, and at Margraten at least once while
reorganizing the cemetery into its actual shape (1948-1960).
Pity DNA was then not yet known then.

Book in Finkenrath

From a book about Finkenrath I found that an eye witness Mrs. Klara Wauters-Martini also mentioned having seen body parts of 2 or 3 persons after the crash.



Translation text in red rectangular

What I saw there was terrible: dead bodies - 2 or 3 - and everywhere parts of corpses (hands, legs....). The adults there moved us away quickly. Also on the other side of the Wurm a part of the plane did crash. Wing of Tail? I do not know.....

From: ‘Nivelstein und Finkenrath - versunken, aber unvergessen!‘ page 149.


                                                   


IDPF-information
In Mr. Breeden’s IDPF I found no information on the inquiry in December 1948 and January 1949. From his IDPF you can however read his training-route (class 43-E?) while the QMGYG 293/Major James C McFarland asked for his dental records (Form MD nr 79) on June 26, 1946. In their request the QMG refers to unknowns at Margraten X1204-1208 - later only X1204. Their case number seems to be #293.
Results:

- on entry missing teeth lower left 14, restored lower right 14;
- prior to accepting is commission missing teeth lower left 14, restored lower right 14, upper left 6 and upper left 7.
From Fields of Honor at Margraten I got the report on the inquiry mentioned above.

                                                   


Report from the German City of Merkstein/Herzogenrath 1945

Mr. Josef Vondendriesch who worked for the German City of Merkstein/Herzogenrath from 1922 till 1962 states what possessions were found on the (2) pilots that were found near Finkenrath - as far as he remembered in February 1945.

This all ready could have be a mix of the belongings of 3 persons - but with only 2 dog tags found (on 2 pilots). Only the 3 persons who collected the remains in Finkenrath could tell us more: Mr. VertegeWalls, Mr. Froschen or Mr. Pelzer who are mentioned in the inquiry in 1948/1949.




Translation

Merkstein, February 2nd 1945 - Report

The on 16.10.1943*) crashed and deadly wounded American pilots had - as far as I can remember - these objects with them:

two maps with the size of a handkerchief

several hundred Dutch Guilders

several thousand French Francs

one pair of street-shoes

two wrist watches

beside that they wore their ‘dog tags’.


I did not see weather the officers of the Luftwaffe who were at

Merkstein did take these objects with them, but I assume they did for it is

an obligation to hand such items over to the military authorities.

At that time I had no official interference with this matter. Police lieutenant Hochwald was responsible for the execution of this obligation.

*) Mr Vondendriesch mentions a wrong date


                                                 


The big bomber boots of Mr. Zef Dassen
While in 2012 Mr. Ortmanns told his story of the crash in 1943 from the audience there were questions about bomber boots related to this date and/or crash. This is what I found out in 2016.
Zef Dassen his story starts on the road near the tail part - that is in the opposite direction of that of the 6th parachute that was seen drifting towards Haanrade-Rolduc.               

Read the full story of Zef Dassen (1878-1974) and his fathers bomber boots.

                                        
                                                 
                                  
 

When the Americans took Schweinfurt in 1945, the German flag flying over the Klugelfischer ball bearing plant was captured and presented to the 305th Bomb Group by the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow Division”.









Photo from the National Museum of te Mighty Eight Airforce - This colorized photo of the Schweinfurt flag in front of the 305th Bomb Group headquarters in 1945, is one of the last known photos of the flag.

                                                                  

                                                   


In the press today

While working on Donald Paul Breeden and his crew I got an interview with Mr. Devin Heilman of DPA Press from Kootenai County - published 26-8-2016.





  


                                            


On October 8 the article of Mrs. Beatrix Oprée on Donald Paul Breeden was in the
Aachener Zeitung.

                                            


Mr. Martin van der Weerden also wrote an article on Breeden in a local paper ‘1Lokaal’ on 18-10-2016.

                                    



                                                 

                               

    The tumult and the shouting dies;

The Captains and the Kings depart:

Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,

An humble and a contrite heart.

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,

Lest we forget—lest we forget!

R. Kipling

                                                                                                   
                                                  

Terug naar de start.