COMMENTS & NOTES
2ND LT JOHN W. "Bud" BROWN P EVADEE 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT see note below
2ND LT ALBERT F. "Fitz" FITZPATRICK CP POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
2ND LT THEODORE H. "Ted" KLEINMAN NAV EVADEE 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
2ND LT LAWSON W. "Clem" CLEMENTS BOM POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
S/SGT CHARLES R. "Chuck" ARMBRUST WG NOC
S/SGT RICHARD F. BRADY ROG CPT 26 AUG 44 BREST Flew 31 Missions.
S/SGT LAWRENCE M. "Larry" PRATT TTE NOC
SGT MILTON "Mickey" GRABEL TG KIA 25 MAY 44 BERLIN (see Roeder crew below)
SGT GORDON F. "Gord" KEON BTG POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT
SGT OWEN D. "od" STOCKTON WG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN ( see Amiero crew below)
349th Sqdn. Crew joined the 100th Gp on 28 Nov 1943.. Sgt Gordon Keon was the only enlisted man of this crew
to particiapte in the Frankfurt mission of 4 FEB 44. Other aboard for this mission and their fate is a follows:
S/SGT GEORGE E. TOOMEY ROG POW (FROM C.I. MONTGOMERY CREW) see below
S/SGT LOLA D. FLORIDA TTE POW (FROM C.I. MONTGOMERY CREW) see below
S/SGT WILLIAM F. KEMP WG KIA (FIRST MISSION)
S/SGT HAROLD F. "PAPPY" JANDERUP WG POW (FROM H.M. HENINGTON CREW) ( TAPS 25 SEP 69)
S/SGT RICHARD A. TANGRADI TG POW (from original Crew of Lt Amiero)
T/Sgt R.F. Brady Diary:
Sun. Nov 21-43 Arrived in England- First camp was Stone- Remained their for one week. Visited town twice-Enjoyed my stay.
Sat. Nov. 27-43 Left for Diss my permanent base in England. Arrived late at night-tired and hungry- Put in with a swell bunch of fellows, 100th Bomb Group- 349th Sq. Attended classes for a few days-very steadily
Dec. 6-43- Mon. Made my first flight in England- very interesting- to say the least. Between school and flying we were kept quite busy for two weeks.
Dec. 22-43 Weds. 1st Mission
We made our first mission- Munster was the target. Trip very uneventful to me as I knew nothing that was going on as my oxygen became disconnected and I passed out. Larry (Pratt-TTE) came to my rescue and found me lying against the radio. Chuck (Ambrust-WG) also had similar trouble but managed to get oxygen before any serious trouble. I can thank God once again for saving my life. We took off at 10:30 and landed at 4:35 Very tired and weak - mission a success
Brown - 088 10-500 2300
Lt Brown Crew - 230088-Squawkin Hawk - 10-500lb bombs - 2300 gal of gas
Dec. 24-43 Fri 2nd Mission Secret Weapon on French Coast (ST.JOSEPH au BOIS)
We took off at 11:30 and landed at 4:18- Biggest armada of airplanes ever sent out-seeing it was amazing. Saw bomb fall- hit target mission a success
Brown- 249 12 - 500 2100
Lt Brown Crew - 231249-Miss Carriage - 12-500lb bombs - 2100 gal of gas
Dec 25-43 Xmas day- was indeed happy reading his word and thinking of loved ones at home. Merry Merry Xmas to all
Fri Dec. 31-43 3rd raid Paris
I got my first real taste of flak and battle this day as the flak was intense. I saw quite a bit of the city of Paris. Beautiful Day. Took off at
9:00 and landed at 2:40- Mission a success
Brown - 957 12-500 2100
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 12-500lb bombs - 2100 gal of gas
Jan 1-44 Sat I read a bit and wrote a few letters- Happy again at knowing my sins forgiven
Jan 2-44 Visited Norwich for the first time with Lt. Brown- nice time
Jan 5-44 4th mission
We were in a formation of bombers that seemed to be lost- our lead bombardier found a surprise target and really knocked it out. Nuess Flak was quite heavy no fighters- 8:00 and landed at 1:00 -Mission a success
Brown - 957 10-500 2500
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 10-500lb bombs - 2500 gal of gas
Jan 7-44 - Fri 5th Raid
Lundysenshaven (Ludwigshaven) was the target - this was a full scale operation - the flak was heavy but no fighters- We took off at 8:10 and landed at 2:30 Mission a success
Brown - 249 10-500 2780
Lt Brown Crew - 231249-Miss Carriage - 10-500lb bombs - 2780 gal of gas
Jan 13,-44 Fri We left for London on our first pass. This was quite a thrill to me for I had always wanted to go there. Darkness was terrific. I visited all the famous historical sites - Westminster Abbey, London Tower and Bridge, changing of the Guards, Buckingham Palace, Rode underground, famous London cabbies, Charles Dickens bookshop. Talked with people who were bombed in the blitz- Very eventful and very interesting
Jan 21-44 6th raid St Ohmer (BOIS D'ESQUERDES )
This was a very nasty flak area and we were really hit. We had several holes all around. It was on an installation yard. We were not injured in any way but well shaken up. Took off at 11:50 and landed at 14:00
Brown 957 12-500 2100
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 12-500lb bombs - 2100 gal of gas
Jan 24th-44 7th raid - Frankfurt
This mission was recalled and we can be thankful to God it was for our wing was on fire -unknowingly to us - we would have never returned if we had gone all the way to the target. Larry (Pratt-TTE) was ill and did not fly. We missed him. Mission time: 7:00- 12:30
Brown - 957 42 incendiaries 2500
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 2500 gal of gas
Sat - Jan 29-44 Briefed for a mission which we ran off the runway with a load of incendiaries onboard. A ship had just blown up in front of us. I can only thank God for saving our lives for it was surely a close call
Thurs Feb 3-44 8th mission Wilhelmshaven was the target
They failed to call us till 20 min. before takeoff. Everything went wrong. Guns were all wrong, the chaff wouldn't go out , our hydraulic system went out and we had no brakes and had to land at Honington- We ate at the mess hall there. Ted (Kleinman-NAV) doin a wonderful job in bringing us home Mission Time: 7:20-1:20
Brown 957 10-500 2500
Lt Brown Crew - 25957-Horny II - 10-500lb bombs - 2500 gal of gas
Fri Feb 4th-44 We were briefed for a raid on Frankfurt. We had become ill from something we at the day before and we couldn't fly. Bud and the rest took off and never returned. It was a heartbreaker to us all and we feel very bad. Larry (Pratt-TTE) is in bad shape- the rest not so bad.
Lt Brown Crew - 239799-Dobie - Shot Down
Ship suffered severe fighter damage and had three engines out over the German-Belgian border. The crew with the exception of William Kemp, who was apparently badly wounded, bailed out safely. Gordon Keon had a flak wound in one arm.
Here is the real story about what happened to Lt Brown Crew by S/Sgt Richard Tangradi:
Mike as you read the story of my last mission 2/4/44.we had no flak damage,I repeat no flak damage,period!!!! We
aborted way before we got to Frankfurt.S/SGT. Kemp was not wounded by flak.He didn’t have a scratch on him.I am
sending you proof of above statement.Hang on to your chute Boss.it aint over yet, didn’t somebody once say that???
Mike will send you real story of shoot down 2/4/44.soon. Richard Tangradi, TG
In respect to the Officers who flew this mission,this is the first time I have told this story in its entirety.As you read on you will know why.We aborted the mission to Frankfurt 2/4/44,we were not hit by flak! We were above the overcast about 10,000 ft. Everything was OK until I spotted a small speck come out of the overcast maybe a thousand feet or more. It was going in and out of the overcast as he was coming in. I could see it was a fighter. As it got closer, it was a 190. I hit the intercom to alert the crew. Guess what? It was dead. I wanted to run up to the waist to tell the guys, but then I thought I couldn't leave my position with this fighter on my tail. I picked him up at about 600 feet out and squeezed the triggers. Guess what again? No music. I believe the guns were frozen. I grabbed both charging handles and pulled like hell. They wouldn't budge. I hit the intercom again. It was still dead. Jerry must have known something was wrong because I wasn't firing at him. Boy, then he came right in, I mean 200 feet, and opened up. All hell broke loose. I could hear and feel his shells hitting all over the plane. This seemed like it was going on for hours but it was only a couple of minutes. Then everything was quiet. I looked out and he was gone.
I figured I had better get up front to see what was going on. I reached for my chute with both arms but only my right arm came up. My left arm would not move. I had no feeling in it. Later on, a German Red Cross doctor told me that shrapnel had fractured my arm between the elbow and shoulder. I was also hit in my right forearm but not too seriously.
I grabbed my chute and went up to the waist position. The waist gunners didn't realize the shape we were in. The plane was vibrating and shaking something terrible and I could see smoke coming out of the two starboard engines. The ball turret gunner was getting out of his ball and, my God, it looked like a 20 took his whole elbow out. The radio gunner came out of his room and his face was full of blood, He was holding his arms out in front of him. All ten of his fingers looked white candles; they were frostbitten. I grabbed Kemp and asked him to put my chute on. He kind of stared at me as if asking, "how come?" Blood started rolling down my wrist. I showed him and he shook his head like, "OK, now I understand". He snapped it on and I told him to help the other two men. Sgt. Florida was coming out of the bomb bay. I asked Janderup to go up front and find out what was going on. Seconds later, he came running back shouting, "Hey Tan, hey Tan, there ain't nobody up front in the cockpit". I hollered out, "What are you talking about, Pappy?" He said, "The officers bailed out".
Now, I want to jump ahead and explain my opening statement to this story. When I got back to England and was briefed on how we were shot down, I never told of how Pappy came back from the cockpit and what he said. I don't believe the pilot abandoned his crew. I firmly believe he hit the bail out button but the plane's systems were so badly shot up that the bail out button didn't work. Janderup popped the waist door. He looked me in the eyes, said, "See you, Tan" and jumped. I looked at the other guys, kind of stared, and I went out. The slip stream sucked the breath right out of me. I 'm turning, twisting and tumbling. You don't know where up or down is. I pulled the rip cord when I got into the overcast. There was a big bang and a jolt and I came to a sudden stop. All at once, it was real quiet and still. I am floating down and snow is coming up and hitting me in the face. You know, it's not coming down on your head, it's coming up in your face, a real odd feeling. Now I am thinking how and where I'm going to land. I hope it's not in the water; I went through that before. I got one arm, it's snowing in February, if I come down in the cold sea, forget it, I'm a goner. I'm looking down and things below start to get darker. I'm hoping it isn't water. It turns out I'm coming down over a forest. I can make out trees as far as I can see. Now , I'm moving a little faster, in fact, those trees are coming up real fast. No time to think. I can't maneuver the chute with one arm. As things turned out, I'm drifting backwards and I hit this big pine and slowly slid down like on an elevator landing on my butt in about 10 or 12 inches of snow. I couldn't have done it better if I had two good arms and knew what I was doing, which I didn't. OK, what's the first thing you do in a situation like this? You light up a Lucky, that's what. There I am, a 19 year old kid all busted up, God know where, sitting in the snow and smoking an American Lucky Strike cigarette. After a couple more cigs, I got to do something. I got to get out of these woods before it gets dark. By the way, it was about 10:00 A.M. I pulled out my escape kit, got the compass, checked it out and figured I had to go west. I got out of my chute and harness and started walking.
Mike, if you don't believe in miracles, I'm going to make a believer out of you now. I didn't walk more than 20, 25 feet when something on my right caught my eye. So help me, it was two young boys walking on a road which I couldn't see. I didn't know if I should cough or give the old, "hey, kid". Anyway, they stopped, kind of startled, looking into the woods trying to see me. I walked out to the road and tried to tell them I was an American. They didn't understand. I pointed to my left arm which by now was completely covered in blood. I'm trying to tell them I need a doctor. They recognized that word and I think they got the message. I gave them a pack of smokes. They lit up and motioned to me to follow them. We came to an open field and I could see an old farm house. One of the kids ran into the house and an old guy came out and motioned me to come in. There was an old woman inside who told me to sit down at the table and brought me a cup of coffee and a slice of bread. They treated me pretty nice.
About this farm house, it must have been 100 years old, bare floors, no ceiling, no furniture execpt the table and some chairs. It had a loft where they slept. By the way, the barn was connected to the house and it smelled like it.
I will finish this story tomorrow. Take care
I got the other package with the pictures this morning. Helen and I think you did a great job.
A statement by Theodore Kleinman after his return say the bail-out occurred about 10 miles SSE of Turnhout, Belgium and continues: "After contacting an underground unit I was placed in a house in Turnhout. Several days later I was told something in French concerning the rest of the crew. With my meagre understaning of French, Kemp was unable to leave th ship due to severe wounds and he went down with the plane. A man was found by the Germans in the rear half of the ship with his head badly battered, but alive. I later received a report the man with the
battered head died."
German records in the MACR file confirm a badly wounded man found in the ship died in the hospital the following day.
Excerpts from a letter to Paul West 22 Feb 1994 from Sherman Gillespie, a cadet class mate of John W. Brown.
.. John Brown and I were in a group of twenty sent to Blythe, CA. Our orders read "Twin engine fighters" for assignment to light bombardment!!! We expected A-20s!!! We all ended up in B-17s for the duration….Brown and I were in "B" Flight Squadron 65 in flight training at Santa Ana, CA in 1942…He never told me much about his evasion, eventual capture and escape, this would make a real adventure yarn….only that the Germans kept him in solitary for a month trying to crack him -- wouldn't even give him salt to brush his teeth with…The Brown family may have pictures of him and a Belgian family taken before the Gestapo caught him…Sherm Gillespie 1994.
Mr Sherman Gillespie completed a tour as a pilot in the 413th Squadron of the 96th Bomb Group based at Snetterton Heath. 100th veterans will remember flying with the 96th by the "Square C" on the tail of their planes. The 96th was in the 45th Combat Wing of the 3rd Air Division and made many of the missions with the 100th of the 13th Combat Wing, 3rd Air Division.
For the complete saga of Jim Browns evaison, capture, escape and evade, go to Airman 3 and look under Lt John Brown E&E…mpf.
100th BOMB GROUP GENERAL FEEDBACK
Purpose: Request information
Name: David Grosvenor
Comments: I read with great interest the information concerning 2nd Lt John W Brown's evasion, capture by the Germans, and eventual escape in occupied Belgium. My interest stems from the fact that Lt. Brown was with my father, 1st Lt William Grosvenor, 61st Sq, 56th FG, in Brussels, Belgium for the greater part of his evasion. They were arrested by the GFP, working in concert with Abwehr, III F, on June 20, 1944 at the safe house residence of Mme Jeanne Claes-Frix, 47 Ave du Cemetierre, Evre, Brussels, Belgium, and imprisoned at St Gilles Prison in Brussels. They, along with 41 other allied airmen escaped from a prison train which contained some 1500 Belgain civilian political prisoners.
In the section of your website concerning Lt Brown, I saw a note referring to a letter from Sherman Gillespie to Paul West regarding Brown's story of his evasion. Could you send an e mail address or other contact information for both Sherman Gillespie and Paul West. I would like to contact both of them regarding Brown and with some luck, track down Brown's family.
I am currently producing a documentary film, "Rendezvous with Freedom: A True Story of Escape, Evasion, and Remembrance" which is scheduled for broadcast during Fall primetime on PBS in 2005. The film documents the assistance given to downed Allied airmen by the Belgian escape services.
Subj: FW: John W. Brown
Date: 4/8/2004 2:10:53 PM Pacific Daylight Time
CC: email@example.com, MPFaley@aol.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)
Is there agreement that John's Taps data can now be finished and perhaps this information added to his crew page. I will attempt to contact Sherman Gillespie of the 96th with this information in case he does not already have it. John was from all account and outstanding individual amount a group of outstanding individuals. If there is any way possible we should try and contact his family - it could lead to a gold mine of history. This man once escapted from the Gestapo!!
From: Kleinman Steve M LtCol JPRA/PRA-DI [mailto:Steve.Kleinman@fairchild.af.mil]
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 3:16 PM
To: Paul West
Subject: RE: John Brown
I recently came across additional information regarding John "Bud" Brown in some notes found among my father's effects. In a note written in 1988, my father wrote: " Bud was recalled for the Korean conflict, checked out in the C-46, and crashed into Mt. Fujiyama, in Japan, while in heavy weather in 1950. I was recalled [to active duty] in January 1951 and we were aware of his death some time prior to that."
He also wrote:
"For what it's worth, Bud played left halfback for Alonzo Stagg at the College (now University) of the Pacific and played in the 1939 Rose Bowl game."
Hope this is of some value.
Steven M. Kleinman, Lt Col, USAF
Director of Intelligence
Personnel Recovery Academy, JPRA
DSN 657-9778/Comm (509) 247-9778
From: Paul West [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 4:00 PM
To: Jbittle@Swfla. Rr. Com; Robert Wolff; Ralph Bradley; Grant Fuller;
Kleinman Steve Lt Col JPRA/PRA-DI
Cc: Joel Russell; Cindy Goodman; Ceh100bg@aol. Com; Betray1@Hotmail.
Com; Jan Riddling; Harry Nelson; Charles M. Cole; Mike Faley
Subject: John Brown
Colonel Kleinman, do you or your father have any information as to what happened to John Brown after the war? The story of John's evading, capture, escape, recapture and second escape is something the 100th desperately needs for the History Section. If at all possible we desire to contact John Brown via phone, e-mail, or a member of the historical staff would be happy to visit him.
A cadet Class-mate of John's (Sherman Gillespie), who last saw him after the war, at the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco in December 1945 has been trying to locate John Brown for over fifty years. Mr. Gillespie completed a tour with the 96th BG, in the 45th Combat Wing.
Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
I don't know if you visited the 'Last Best Hope' trailer web site or not, but it would be well worth while. You may have to cut and paste the http into the address 'what-cha-ma-call-it'. Simply clicking on the link itself doesn't seem to work for me.
After four years of intense research I know John Brown's story inside out as well that as that of all of his helpers. The long and the short of it is that after being picked up by the Belgian Armee Secret, in the area of Oolen/Olen (pre & post war spellings) he was moved to Brussels and then handed over to Group Henri Maca of the MNB (Movement National Belge), where he met Bill Grosvenor (56 FG). The two remained together until the 20th of June when the house they were staying at was raided and they were captured with their helper, Mme Claes-Frix. Both were eventually liberated from the famous 'Ghost Train' on 4 September '44. The Ghost Train (English), aka Phantom Train (French) aka, Spook Train (Flemish) was a convoy of 1,600 or so political prisoners & 43 allied airmen bound for the concentration camps in Germany. The resistance prevented it from leaving Belgium over the course of two days and eventually, after much going back and forth of the train, a deal was worked out in which the train load of prisoners would be allowed to remain in Brussels in exchange for the unmolested passage of a train load of wounded Germans to Germany. This is an incredible story in itself and is long overdue for a Hollywood movie. Who needs fiction when real stories like this exist?
1 Lt. John W. Brown
Escape and Evasion
by David Grosvenor
1 Lt. John W. Brown. Pilot. 0-743172. (b. 28/11/19). Spoke French.
100th Bomb Group – 349th Bomb Squadron
Aircraft type: B-17.
Base: Thorpe Abbotts, England (Station 139)
FTR 04 /02/44.
NE Oolen, Belgium.
P 1st Lt John W. Brown 0-743172 EVA - POW. GT. E&E
CP 2nd Lt Albert F, Fitzpatrick 0-751115 Gheel Hosp, Belgium. Broken leg
NAV 2nd Lt Theodore H. Kleinman 0-795261 St Gilles. GT. Safe in Paris. E&E 2101
BOM 2nd Lt Lawson W. Clements 0-735261 POW.
TTE S/Sgt Lola D. Florida 38279635 POW
ROG S/Sgt George E. Toomey Jr. 16065537 POW
BTG S/Sgt George F. Keen 32472665 KIA
LWG S/Sgt William F. Kemp 34409090 POW
RWG S/Sgt Harold F. Janderup. 32555990 POW.
TG S/Sgt Richard A. Tangradi 13125061 POW
Details of Sortie
Took off 0600 hours. We were hit by flak over Frankfurt, Germany, thus straggling from the group. We were attacked by approximately 3 German fighters, which knocked out three motors. I think all the men jumped. I was immediately taken in by an organization, which treated me very well. After going from place to place in the Brussels underground, I was finally picked up by the Gestapo and taken to St-Gilles prison for war criminals. During my stay there of 11 weeks, I was treated as a war criminal because I had been in civilian clothes. We lived 5 men to a cell about 8x12 feet without enough food and air. We ate criminal rations and received no cigarettes.
Our interrogations usually lasted about 4 hours with its usual tortures of punches to the face. After interrogation we were placed in a dark cell for weeks.
While being transferred to Germany as a POW by train, I along with 42 others escaped. Our escape was made possible by the patriots and their sabotage. After the escape we reported immediately to the nearest high-ranking officer. We were in Brussels at the time of our escape and the British troops had entered the town but had not reached the station.
Special recognition should be shown to the 43 English and American airmen who spent time in St-Gilles prison and escaped from the train with me. Many of these men are ill and in some cases absolutely stark crazy. Special recognition should be shown to 1st Lt William Grosvenor who suffered much torture in the hands of the Germans for not giving information.
On 4 February Brown landed NE of Oolen, Belgium and SW of the town was picked up almost immediately and sheltered for the first night. The next day he walked SE towards Brussels because he had been briefed to go to the large cities. About 1000 hours a man came up on a bicycle, asked whether he was an American, and took him to Oolen to someone who could speak English.
He stayed a day and a night with the three Louiss. He was given civilian clothes and the 2 Louis's took him to Brussels to an Armée Blanche man at 85 Chaussée de Gand. He stayed there four weeks with Phillip Vossels.
He saw Zeinen (questionable spelling) who spoke good English and talked about his brother in NY.
A man who claimed to be the head of the Belgian Red Cross gave him a tissue sheet on which to write casualty information.
Pedro, whom the Gestapo caught about 10 May, also gave him a tissue sheet.
He was visited by the Comtesse Ethburg-Stirum, a woman about 35, with 5 children, whose husband was supposed to be the head of the Belgian Embassy in London.
With her came a Princess - blond, attractive. Aged about 28. Spent 5 years in Washington DC.
They were sometimes accompanied by a man who claimed to be the head of the Belgian Red Cross, 6'2", large.
He saw a great many blackmarket people.
The Comtesse and the Princess took him to a second floor apartment where he stayed from 8 days to 2 weeks over a shop with a woman and her husband. The Princess and Comtesse visited.
A man picked him up here and took him to an apartment of Mr Dam - short, stout, receding hairline, Spoke perfect English, crippled from a broken leg, uses cane - who lived with his wife and aged father, and a little girl from Sweden. Brown was here 6 days to 2 weeks.
He went to a café. Stayed about 7 hours, and was picked up by a strange guide from the center of the city.
He went to Chaussée Ceasar Roman (478 Chaussee Romaine), number 4 something (previously he had given the address as 478 rue Romane, Leiken) and stayed 4 weeks with Mme Guyaux. Here he met a chief of the group, Henri (Henri Maca), 23-26, and his sister, Simone (Marie Maca , a. k. a. Germaine, a. k. a. Simone). Their father had been a chief (Paul Maca, # Jan. 23, 1944) in the organization and had been taken by the Gestapo.
Henri was of medium height, wore horn-rimmed glasses.
Henri had come over to check Brown's identity, for the organization had some suspicions of him based upon his ignorance of 5 of the men in his crew.
P-47 pilot Bill Grosvenor came along to help check the identity.
(MML note: Anne Brusselman claims to have been involved in this) (Lt. Grosvenor confirmed that Lt. Brown was an Allied pilot. The escape services initially thought that Brown was an Abwehr imposter/infiltrator, as Brown was unable to give the names of all those on his bomber crew. It is my understanding that many of the airmen on Brown’s crew the day of his FTR were replacements that he didn’t know by name)
Grosvenor had previously stayed with Colonel Hubbard (Comète 284. E&E 802). (Grosvenor was never with Lt Col Hubbard but was informed of his presence in Brussels by the escape services)
Henri declared that the line to Spain had been broken because of diplomatic difficulty.
A different Simone (husband Paul, daughter Paulette) (this is Simone Schreyen) took Brown and Grosvenor, who were together from this point, to Marcel Van Buggenhout (Buekenhout), 226 Boulevard Emile Bockstoul, Laeken.
After about 3 hours there, the men went to a street off the Chaussée de Gand and stayed about 2 weeks (10 days) with a man, Leon (Leon Verleysen), his wife and a daughter of 16. Grosvenor seems to have arrive about 3 days after Brown.
They met Leon's brother, François, who was supposed to be one of the heads of the Armée Blanche.
Marcel took the 2 to Quinard-Legrain (Andre & Magaurite Quintard), 47 rue Edgar Tinel, Anderlecht, where they stayed 3 or 4 weeks.
They met Marcel Nee, 23 rue Edgar Tinel, who had been a POW in Germany.
They met Gaston Waroquier, 45 ave d'Itterbeek, who kept aviators.
Leon, his wife and daughter visited, as did Leon's brother, François, his father, who owned a brewery.
Mlle Lucienne van der Wall(?) (Van der Walle), who was keeping 2 Sgts named Franky and Jimmy, at 488 Chausée de Gand, Anderbeck St-Jean, visited.
Marcel took the 2 airmen to a place in Laeken near the Exposition grounds there. They stayed 4 to 10 days with a woman and her daughter. A son was supposed to be working for the Germans and did not sleep there. There was no electricity, gas or radio and the Americans were unhappy.
Marcel moved the men to Mme Claes, 147 rue du Cimitiere, where they stayed 4 weeks. Or (9-10 days)
John, an Engineer (John Byers), on a Liberator had been there and also some Russians.
On the way the men had met in a café a civilian chief of the police, Marcel Leborgne, 30 rue J. Bollings, Evere, who remarked that Americans had been with Mme Claes before. (E&E Sheenan). (Possibly E&E nfd. Sgt Robert E. Sheehan. F/Plt. —?FG/P-47s. FTR 07/11/43. ? Helmond, NL. Comete 262. E-Sp 09/01/44).
They met Angelo Stevenin, 137 Ave Cimitiere, Yvonne de Backer, 138 Ave Cimitiere, Mr & Mme Cammaerts-Jacobs, 912 Chaussée de Louvain.
They met a TTG named Elmore Loveland once at George's café where he was staying and also in the Chaussée de Gand.
They met some 'wheel' at the cemetery, who was later picked up by the Gestapo (ca May 1944).
Marcel then moved them, in a green truck (the truck was driven by Victor Schutters, a garage foreman for the Belgian National Railroad), to a café - once described in Leiken and once in Scharbeek) run by Jean and Midge - presumably Micheline. (This is Jean and Midge Van den Eede)
They stayed about 2 weeks and then returned to Mme Claes about 18 June.
They heard that the Gestapo had captured Henri (Maca - #'d ca 27/05/44), Simone ('Suzette' #'d 01/06/44 – Simone Schreyen – there has previously been much confusion between Simone Schreyen and Marie Maca, a. k. a. Simone) and a chief known as Victor ( Victor Schreyen – Simone Schreyen’s brother).
On 19 June the Cammaerts-Jacobs daughter visited.
About 0600 hours on 20 June Mme Claes wakened the 2 men with the warning that the Gestapo were at the house and that they must get dressed and get out. They tried first to get out a bedroom window, then went on the roof from an attic window. A rifle bead was drawn on them. Two Gestapo men in uniform with GFP on their shoulders came into the house and the men surrendered. The Germans had apparently not come searching for the evaders. Mme Claes thought that her sister-in-law, with whom she did not get along very well, had turned her in for putting flowers on American graves in the cemetery.
The 2 Americans were taken with Mme Claes to Luftwaffe Headquarters. The Americans were asked their name, rank and serial number which they gave, and told them that since they were caught in civilian clothes they would go to regular criminals' prison until they could tell a story to prove their identity.
They were put separately in small cells, left about 8 hours, and taken to St-Gilles prison with Mme Claes.
The Americans were put in separate cells with Grman prisoners, among them, Belgian SS men.
(3 German SS & 2 Belgian SS)
About 3 weeks later they were interrogated at a large mansion in the center of the city. Most of the men around the place were in grey-green uniforms. The interrogators wore civilian clothes, but Brown saw them later in Army uniform.
There were three interrogators:
1. A very tall, blond, hair combed straight back, strange slanting eyes, about 26, from Cologne.
2. A rather short man.
3. A German stooge in uniform, apparently non-English speaking.
Brown was put in a waiting room for a few minutes before he was interrogated and an Englishman advised him to give nothing but his name, rank and serial number.
The interrogation lasted 4-5 hours and was conducted mostly by 1.
He explained that because Brown was caught in civilian clothes he would have to tell his entire story to prove that he was not a spy and saboteur. . He wanted to know all the places at which Brown had been. Brown replied that he could give only his name, rank and serial number.
He tried to take the line that he was an American officer and wanted to be treated as such.
The Germans had a tissue organization from giving the casualty information on Brown but omitting his base. The interrogators spent a lot of time talking about what they did in the USA. When Brown refused to answer their questions (1) struck Brown in the jaw and so did (3).
He was then taken back to a waiting room. After about 11 hours in total, the group up for interrogation was taken back to prison. Brown was put back in the same cell.
After about 5 days he was re-interrogated at St-Gilles by (1) alone, using the same routine as before. In addition to the threat about shooting as a spy, the threat to put him in the dark cells was made.
By this time the interrogator had information that he claimed to have secured from Mme Claes. She had said something about Brown going one day by tram to Anderlecht, so the interrogator wanted to know where he had gone.
Brown had actually gone to the (Margaret) Quintard-Legrain's, of whom he was extremely fond, and he would not state where he had been.
The interrogator tried to stress how absurd it was for Brown not to talk when everything was already known from Mme Claes and Grosvenor. The interrogation lasted about an hour and Brown was afterwards put in the dark cells.
About 10 days later he was brought out for re-interrogation again by (1).
For about 1/2 hour (1) tried to find out where Brown had gone that day from Mme Claes. Brown spent most of the time complaining about his treatment, fleas in the dark cells, and requesting a doctor's attention. The interrogator's response was to promise Brown better treatment if he would only be sensible and answer all the questions asked of him. (Note: This writer does not report 08 note on margin of original/Section 8-mental case).
Brown was put back in the dark cells for a several more days and then moved to a regular cell.
About 4 weeks later he was again interrogated at St-Gilles. He was shown photographs of the 2 Marcels, Margaret (Quintard-Legrain), and Jean and Midge and told that all of them had been caught, that all had told their complete stories. Brown still declared that he would say nothing.
The interrogator now concentrated on finding out where and how Brown had got his shoes, apparently trying to trace something in the supply picture. Brown still refused to give information and was sent back to regular cells.
2 Louis Olen. 1 day & night
Gp Phillip Vossels
Phillip Vossels Brussels. Café. 4 weeks. 85 Chaussée de Gand.
Interrogation. Head Belgian Red Cross. Large man. 6'2".
Met Zenen. Spoke good English
Guide Countess Sterun/Stranan. Husband head of Belgian Embassy, London.
Guide Blond Princess.
Safe House Wife & husband over shop. 8 days or 10 days-14 days.
Guide Countess Ethburg -Stirum. (Sterun/Stranan).
Guide Blond Princess.
Safe House Mr. Dam. Large crippled man. 2 weeks. Or 6 days.
Gp Henri Maca District
Brown and Grosvenor meet 1st time.
Safe House Mme Guyaux. 4 weeks
Identification. Henri Maca? Henri Nys (Henri Nys is doubtful as a participant in this questioning of Brown) Leader. Grosvenor in tow.
Helper Simone, sister of Henri.
Guide Simonne # 2. (Schreyen?)
Gp Marcel of Group Henri Maca
Safe House Marcel van 'Buggenhout'-Buekenhout. 3 hrs.
226 Boulevard Emile Bockstoul, Laeken.
Note: Brown and Grosvenor together from this point on.
Safe House Mom & 'Leon' father at road off Chausse de Gand. 10 days. Met Leon's brother, François. Head of White Army.
Guide Marcel van Buggenhout
Safe House Margarite Quintard-Legrain/Quinard-Legrain. - 4 weeks/or 3 weeks.
47 rue Edgard Tintel.
Met Marcel Nee. Ex-POW. 23 rue Edgard Tintel.
Met Gaston Waroquier/Wawquier. Safe house for other airmen. 45 ave d'Itterbeek.
Met man and wife with another American airman.
Met Mme Simonne & husband Paul, daughter Paulette.
Met Mme Lucianne van de Wall. Safe house for Sgts Frankie & Jimmy. 448 Chaussee de Gand, Anderbeek St-Jean.
Met Francois (Leon's brother) & his father.
Guide Marcel Buekenhout. Guide to Laeken Exposition grounds. Safe
House Woman in Laeken near Exposition grounds. 4-10 days.
Had daughter. No gas electricity. Son worked for Germans.
Guide Marcel Buekenhout. Guide to Mme Claes. Stayed four weeks.
147 rue du Cimitière. John Beyers had previously stayed there. As had
en route met Marcel Leborgue. Police chief.
En route met Angelo/Angele Stevenin. 137 rue du Cimitière.
En route met Yvonne de Backer. 138 rue du Cimitière.
En route met M & Mme A. Cammaerts-Jacobs. 912 Chaussée de Louvain.
En route met Met Elmore Loveland once at at George's Café and once at Chaussée du Gand.
En route met some 'Wheel' at cemetery who was later arrested. (Henri Maca?)
Safe House Mme Claes. 4 weeks. Safe house for (John Sheenan, etc)
Safe House Marcel Jan 'Marcus' Buggenhout-Buekenhout. # 01/08/44 friend of H. Maca.
Safe House M. Marcel
Safe House Jean & Midge. (Micheline) café in Luken. Stayed 2 weeks.
Henri Maca # 27/05/44.
his fiancee Andrée # 04/06/44.
Victor Schreyen # 04?/06/44.
Simonne Schreyen # 04?/06/44.
William POWell # 04?/06/44.
Safe House Mme Claes.
# 20/06/44. Mme Jeanne Claes, John W. Brown, Wm. Grovesnor.
Some members of the organization that I think deserve high recognition are:
Marcel van 'Buggenhout'-Buekenhout. 3 hrs.
226 Boulevard Emile Bockstoul, Laeken.
Margarite Quintard-Legrain/Quinard-Legrain. 4 weeks/or 3 weeks.
47 rue Edgard Tintel.
Cine (Anderleckt), Brussels, Belgium.
Mme Claes. Stayed four weeks.
147 rue du Cimitière.
Evere, Brussels, Belgium
Mme Lucianne van de Wall. Safe house for Sgts Frankie & Jimmy.
448 Chaussee de Gand
Anderbeek St-Jean, Brussels, Belgium.
Marcell Leborgne (Police)
30 rue J. Ballings.
Evere, Brussels, Belgium.
85 Chaussée de Gand
23 rue Edgard Cinel
Note: No mention of Ann Brusselmans.
137 rue du Cimitière
Evere, Brussels, Belgium
E&E 1841. J. W. Brown met the following airmen.
E&E 1781. 2nd Lt. Thomas P. Smith. GT. Allied control 09/09/44.
E&E 1789. 1 Lt Jack Terzain. GT.
E&E 1861. Donald H. Swanson. GT.
E&E 1862. Charles C. Hillis. GT.
E&E 1858. Kenneth C. Holcomb. GT.
E&E 1874. S/Sgt William McGinley.
E&E 1875. S/Sgt Anthony Palantoino. GT?
E&E 1877. Lt Henry W. Wolcott. GT.
E&E 1881. 1 Lt William Grovesnor. GT.
E&E 1887. S/Sgt Elmore Loveland.
E&E 1896. S/Sgt Harry Shoffner. GT?
E&E 1916. 1 Lt Wallis O. Couzzens. GT.
E&E 1918. T/Sgt Dale S. Loucks. Allied control 10/09/44.
E&E 2101. 2 Lt T. H. Kleinman. GT. (Kleinman was Brown’s navigator)
Bill White. US. (Lonnie E. White?) (Bill White was an AP stringer for Time Magazine and had been covering the British advance toward Brussels. White drove Brown and Grosvenor to Paris in his Jeep after their escape. AP articles appeared back in the States concerning their imprisonment and escape)
Eugene Bowken. US.
James Cox. US.
Lane Siminay. US.
Sgt L. Don Vike. US.
Keith Slaughter. US.
Maurice Shear. US.
Alton Rews. US.
R. E. McGriffin. US.
Richard F. Brady. US.
Francis McDermott. US.
Len G. Hanister??? US.
Stephen B. Harris. US.
E&E 3323 (B) 2410. F/Sgt Clayton D. MacLachlan. RCAF. B/A. 408 Sqdn. FTR 20-21/12/43. Tessenderlo (Limburg) 23 kms NW Hasselt, Belgium. Helped by people of Wavre. Gaston Matthys. Liberated MM. or GT. # POW. ( Clayton MacLachlan & Tommy Reynolds evaded arrest until Brussels’ liberation. He originally met Brown at the Quintard-Legrain home prior to Brown and Grosvenor’s arrest, and again at the Metropole Hotel, Brussels, after their escape)
E&E 3323 (B) 2409. Sgt T. J. Reynolds. RAF. F/Eng. 408 Sqdn. FTR 20-21/12/43. ? Tessenderlo (Limburg) 23 kms NW Hasselt, Belgium. GT? (Reynolds was with Clayton MacLachlan for much of his evasion. They were from the same RAF crew. See above)
N. R. Beamish. (Irish). —?—. RAF. FTR —?—. # ??/06/44. G-Train. —?—. Pipaix, Bel. Senepart.
(Beamish, Brown, Grosvenor, Kleinman, and one other airman escaped from the train as a group. They spent the night of Sept 3/4 in a bombed out building in Schaerbeek (suburb of Brussels) marshalling yard, and entered the downtown area after sunrise, Sept. 4. As they made their way into the central city, an armed resistant challenged them. The Belgian was convinced that they were German deserters and was prepared to line them up against a wall and shoot them. Some of the group of airmen – including Brown – spoke a smattering of French and were able to convince the young resistant that they were, in fact, escaped allied airmen.
Email note from David Grosvenor to Paul West (28 Feb 2005):
Thanks for the quick response. Coordinates for Mr. Gillespie would be greatly appreciated. I have quite a bit of information concerning Lt. Brown's evasion, arrest, and escape in 1944. I have copies of his post liberation debriefing by MIS-X concerning his evasion and time with the Belgian escape services, I have filmed interviews with my father concerning their time together in Brussels, and I have one post-war letter from Brown to my father. Brown's evasion debriefing is an incredible document in that the detail by which he describes his time with the underground surpasses virtually every other document of downed airmen I have seen - and I've seen many. It was the key to my understanding of my own father's evasion experience. What I don't have concerning Lt. Brown is any information pertaining to his wife and children. I know from dad's letter that Brown had at least one child, and that Brown and his family were living in Southern California where Brown was serving as a flight instructor. My main interest is Mr Gillespie's mention of the possibility of surviving photos of Brown with some of his Belgian resistance helpers. I have two photos of my father and Lt Brown taken a couple of days after their escape from the Germans.
They escaped from what has become known as "The Phantom Train", or "Ghost Train", on September 4, 1944 as the British Guards Armor was entering Brussels. There's much more to the story, as you might well imagine. I'll pass on any information concerning Brown as time allows. Production on the documentary film is in full swing at this point - I look forward to making contact with Mr Gillespie.
Thanks for your assistance,
2ND LT COY I. MONTGOMERY P KIA 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
2ND LT ROBERT F. CONNAWAY CP POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
2ND LT FRANK C LAVER NAV POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
2ND LT JAMES D. FULTON BOM POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
T/SGT GEORGE W. BURTON TTE POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN (SEE NOTE BELOW)
S/SGT LOLA D. FLORIDA TTE POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT (with Lt John Brown Crew)
S/SGT GEORGE D. TOOMEY, JR. ROG POW 4 FEB 44 FRANKFURT (with Lt John Brown Crew)
SGT JOHN A. MILLER WG CPT 17 JUL 44 MONTGOURNEY (NO-BALL)
SGT EARL W. RITTER TG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
SGT JUNIOR L. BUCHER WG POW 6 MAR 44 BERLIN
349th Sqdn. Crew, as above, joined the 100th Group on 6 Jan 44 (Crew #40)
For 6 Mar 44 mission see MACR #3014, Microfiche #1019. They were flying A/C #42-30170 which had flown under three names: Torchy 2nd, HOT SPIT, and MISS CARRIAGE.
On 6 Mar 44, Lt Frank C. Laver was the Navigator and a POW; Sgt Wilbur Trembley, (from Lt Stout Crew) was the ROG and a POW; T/Sgt George W. Burton was the TTE and a POW; S/Sgt Anthony Ruda was the RWG and a POW, and S/Sgt Louis P. Savell was the BTG and a POW
"At 1215 hours just north of Hanover an A/c believed to be #170 was atttacked by enemy fighters & was shot down. four or five chutes were seen. I.D. of this aircraft is not positive, it may have been #051."……..Lt. Chadwick
The Germans buried Lt Montgomery (Coy I.) on 10 Mar 1944, noting the cause of death as crash/ burns...
Roeder Crew (MIlton Grabel)
2ND LT ROBERT G. ROEDER P KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
F/O PAUL V. LAMMERS CP KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
2ND LT CLAUDE E. ROBINSON, JR NAV KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
2ND LT JAMES H. MADDOX BOM NOC MACR 5172, Mcrofiche 1855
S/SGT WADE D. EASON TTE KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN A/C 42-102648
SGT FRANK GOLDSTEIN ROG KIA 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT NATHAN E. McELROY BTG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT WILLIAM A. POKLEMBA LWG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT FRED E. CEBALO RWG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
SGT ANTHONY P. LOMBARDI TG POW 24 MAY 44 BERLIN
349TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON 12 APR 1944
ON THE BERLIN MISSION OF 24 MAY 44, T/SGT MILTON GRABEL (from Lt Brown Crew) WAS FLYING AS TOGGALIER AND WAS KIA...pw
This crew,except for T/Sgt Grabel,joined the 100th Group on 12/4/44. At that time,
Lt James H..Maddox was the Bombardier. This was about the 10 mission for the crew.
Statement in MACR by Fred Cebalo -made in 1945 - follows:
"Circumstances of loss of aircraft: On a raid to Berlin we were hit by fighters,
ME 109s. They shot the left wing off. I was thrown back and trapped in the
waist,fracturing my right leg. As I was trying to get out,the ship broke at the
Ball Turret and tail section, I crawled to the door and jumped. I saw four other
chutes as I was going down. I was caught immediately by civilians with a couple of
soldiers upon landing.
I was taken first to a barn,and then by a civilian to a doctor's house.There I saw
the pilot and the tail gunner. We were joined about twenty minutes later by the left
waist gunner and the ball turret gunner. The pilot's right foot was shot off,and
they were amputating the shreds. He was also shot in the arm. We gave him our own
morphine,for the Germans had none. The tail gunner was limping,possibly from a
sprained ankle. Both the left waist gunner and I had broken legs. The ball turret
gunner complained of his back. They had the pilot in a separats room,and the rest
of us in the next room. The pilot who shot us down came in to question us,and
thought me rude when I refused to answer his questions. He visited the pilot and
left..About four hours later,the five of us surviving were taken into a truck along
with other airmen who had just been shot down,about a mile down the road toward camp.
An ambulance met us and took the pilot and another man off. I did not see him again.
My mother received a letter from the pilot's folks,with a clipping from his home
town paper saying that he had died of wounds.
Statement by Anthony P.Lombardi:
"We were going to Berlin. Made land fall between Kiel & Hamburg. McElroy (BT) was
ordered into turret. I saw something whlz by my tail -asked what it was. Soon McElroy
called on intercom to say the door fell off ball & he escaped falling out sans chute.
He was ordered to radio room to complete mission.. I called out fighters at six o'clock
as the navigstor called an attack at twelve o'clock. We were also attacked at nine
O'clock and the ship broke in half at the radio room. Tho radlo operator (Goldstein)
fell out without his chute. The ball turret gunner (McElroy) grabbed his chute and
managed to put it on and save himself. Both waist gunners (Cebalo & Poklemba) bailed
out and reached ground 0K.
The ship broke again at the tail wheel well. That left me and the tail floating thru
space.After riding the tail part way down,I bailed. When we got together later we came
to the conclusion on how the other boys made out. The Navigator(Robison),Toggalier
(Grabel) and Engineer(Eason) were killed by the fighters. The pilot(Roeder) and the
Co-pilot (Lammers) were blown out of the cockpit.The pilot had a seat type chute but
was shot up badly & later died. The co-pilot had no chute on.
The four survivors spent a year at Stalag Luft #4 and finally made it home again."
Amiero Crew (Owen D. STockton)
1st Lt Albert F.Amiero P KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
F/O Howard L.Kilmer CP KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
2nd Lt Albert P.Rule NAV KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
S/Sgt Thomas S.Elliott BOM KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
T/Sgt John J.Kovacs ROG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
T/Sgt Russell G.Gilbert TTE KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
S/Sgt Virgil F.Summers BTG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
S/Sgt Hobart H.Spires WG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
S/Sgt Owen D.Stockton WG POW 6/3/44 BERLIN (ORIGNALLY WITH J.W.BROWN CREW) see below
S/Sgt Thomas D.Baer TG KIA 6/3/44 BERLIN
349th Sqdn. See MACR #3019 (Micro fiche #1021). Flying A/C #42 31731 on 6/3/44
This appears to be a "pick up" crew. Kilmer joined tne 100th on 26/2/44 as
an indlvidual. Baer was from the original crew of V.Reed. Kovacs was a
"spare" on original 100th Air echelon. Stockton was from the crew of
J.W.Brown. Hobart Spires was from the original crew of Sam L. Barr.
A.P.Rule on original crew of Leon R.Morgan.
Evaded but was then captured. He later escaped and made his way back to England. "Ghost Train"