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Thomas R. MARTIN

Thomas R. Martin

The Birmingham News Dec 18 1943

Army Serial Number: O-797573
Assigned to the 100th Bombardment Group
Unit: 418th Bombardment Squadron
Position: Pilot
Beginning Date of 100th Service: Unknown
Time of Service at Thorpe Abbotts: Unknown - Unknown

Additional 100th Service Notes

Status: KIA
MACR: 01156
CR: 01156

Media Articles

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Media ItemTypePageVolume/IssueBroadcast SourceTimeDescriptionFile
Thomas Martin arrived in EnglandPrintThe Dothan Eagle Oct 27 194312:00 am
Thomas Martin MIAPrintThe Dothan Eagle Nov 16 194312:00 am
Thomas Martin wife absolute about his returnPrintThe Birmingham Post March 1 194412:00 am
Thomas Martin now listed as deadPrintThe Montgomery Advertiser Aug 30 194512:00 am

Comments and Notes

Memo 1:

2ND LT JOSEPH P. MURPHY BOM EVA 5 NOV 43 GELSENKIRCHEN * see story in Missions Nov 5, 1943 for full story

A/C #42-37748 MACR #1156, Microfiche 385

418th Sqdn.. Crew joined the 100th on 28 Oct 1943 and were flying their second mission (Gelsenkirchen) when lost. The Crews first Mission was on November 3, 1943 to Wilhemshaven. On Nov 5, 1943, took off as a spare and apparently were over enemy coast when hit by flak.

All the above KIA are memorialized on the WALL OF THE MISSING AT CAMBRIDGE..

James W. McCurley was returned to military control 18 Aug 44, He had evadeed capture along with Lt Murphy. He stated the
plane was fired on by coastal flak while returning and the Engineer and others proably wounded. He states, "The pilot told
Kennemer (Lt James A. Kennemer, the co-pilot) to shoot a Very Pistol when a group of five or six English fighters approached
head on about ten minutes before I left the ship." LT Martin called for the crew to bail out and the navigator and bombardier were
able to do so. It was McCurley's supposition that, "The ship may have continued on it eastern heading and crashed in the
channel ot the Atlantic. Perhaps shot in the water by enemy aircraft of the northeastern portion of France."

These men were carried as MIA until 17 Aug 1945 and then determined to KIA's. This proably indicates the ship was
never found and could have crashed in the




Printed by

The Defense Printing Service
Aurora, Colorado


Prepared and printed under the auspices of the Army Education Center USAG Fitzsimons for limited distribution to educational institutions and military historical agencies. C 1996 Joseph P. Murphy


2nd Lt. Joseph P. Murphy, U.S. Army Air Force, was the bombardier of the crew having the dubious distinction that they contributed to the 100th Bomb Group becoming known as the Bloody Hundredth. All men who go off to war to fight the enemy know that war is a deadly game of chance. Some men live while other men die. Veterans often ponder the question when they survive and so many of their nearby friends do not. Murphy was one who asked himself that very question after he parachuted to safety in France on 5 November 1943 and then spent the next ten months evading capture by the Germans, courtesy of the heroic members of the French Underground. In this account of his adventures behind German lines, Joe Murphy relates a fascinating tale of what it is like to be so dependent for your safety on strangers who may not even speak your language. He excels in his written descriptions of his French underground helpers’ personalities and the reader feels he or she can readily identify with these people. Through Murphy’s writings, one can experience the tenuous moves from place to place within France on the way to eventual freedom, the excitement of a wartime visit to Paris, and the apprehension of when a German soldier stops and speaks to your fellow evader. Joseph Leon Lamaute, Murphy’s French name on his French Carte D’IDENTITE, did indeed lead an exciting life and those activities he engaged in with other evaders would years later admit him to the brotherhood of men who shared experiences like his during the fateful period of World War II. These men, like Joe Murphy, are now proud members of the Air Force Escape and Evasion Society. We who read Murphy’s story can say, “Thanks Joe for sharing your adventures with us!” Certainly the readers of younger generations will better appreciate the devotion Murphy and his compatriots displayed in their defense of liberty. Thank God for such men!!

U.S. Army Retired


Joseph P. Murphy was born and grew up in Germantown, a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. After graduation from Germantown High School in 1938, he attended Peirce Business School. Prior to the United States’ Declaration of War on the Axis powers on 8 December 1941, Murphy was a timekeeper for the Bendix Corporation in Philadelphia. On 11 November 1941, he reported to the Draft Board and received transportation tickets to the Induction Center at New Cumberland, PA. He was sworn into the Army of the United States on 12 November 1941 and assigned to the Armored Forces at Fort Knox, KY where he attended the Wheeled Vehicle School. While there, he volunteered for the Aviation Cadet Program and, after taking a series of tests at Bowman Field, KY, was assigned to Kelley Field, San Antonio, TX for Pre-flight training. As an experiment, the Army Air Corps decided to eliminate Pre-flight training for that one class. Murphy was sent to Sikeston, MO for Pilot training, but the instructors there were not informed that he had not had Pre-flight training. The experiment proved unsuccessful and caused a large “wash out” of this class. Murphy was returned to Ellington Field, Houston, TX for assignment to Bombardier Pre-flight training for 6 to 8 weeks. Upon completion, he was sent to Advanced Bombardier School at San Angelo, TX (Concho Field) and graduated with Class 43-5 on 1 April 1943, awarded Bombardier Wings, and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was assigned to the 19th Bomb group, 2nd Air Force at Pyote Army Air Base, TX where he joined the B-17 crew of 2nd Lt. Thomas R. Martin, Pilot. For the next two and a half months, the ten-man crew underwent crew training with the Thompson Provisional Group, 504th Bomb Squadron (H) at Dyersburg, TN. During this time they lost two enlisted crewmen in a near head-on collision when they fell to their death from the Radio Operator’s gun hatch where they had been taking pictures of the bomb run. A third crewman elected not to fly after this incident and three new members were assigned as replacements. The Copilot was also recommended to become a first pilot and he also left the crew.

The crew received their new B-17 at the Army Air Base in Grand Island, NE and on 17 September, 1943, they flew to Presque Isle, ME en route to their overseas assignment. On 22 September 1943, it was “wheels up” for the Martin Crew as it took off on the first leg of the trip to England, via Goose Bay, Labrador. The B-17 touched down at Preswick, Scotland on 28 September and a ten-day training cycle began at Bovingdon. It was here that he received instructions on Escape and Evasion procedures. At last on 10 October 1943, Joe Murphy and his crewmates found themselves at Thorp Abbots, England as members of the 418th Bomb Squadron, 100th Heavy Bomb Group. Murphy flew his first combat mission on 3 November 1943 to Wilhelmshaven, Germany. His second mission to Gelsenkirchen, Germany was flown on 5 November 1943, but the B-17 was unfortunately shot down by German antiaircraft fire over Dieppe, France. Murphy was one of only two men who survived. For the next ten months, he and his navigator, 2nd Lt. James McCurley, evaded capture due to the efforts of the French Underground. In August 1944, after walking from Paris toward the Normandy Coast, he was able to enter Allied lines and then was returned to England and shortly thereafter to the United States. After a 30-day leave and a week of Rest and Recuperation in Miami Beach, FL, Murphy was assigned to Midland Army Air Base, TX for a refresher course in Bombardiering. At completion of this course, he was transferred to Selman Field, Monroe, LA where he attended Navigator’s School. Upon completion of this short course, he volunteered to attend Aviation Ordinance Course at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD. The War ended several months later and Murphy elected to be discharged from service. He reported to Ft Dix, NJ and was discharged on 26 October 1945, at which time he was appointed a 1st Lt. in the US Army Reserve.

After nine months as an Apprentice Engraver at the Curtis Publishing Co. In Philadelphia, Murphy requested Active Duty and in August, 1946 was assigned to Ft. Lee, VA where he was detailed to the Quartermaster Corps for three years. He was assigned to the 803rd QM Salvage Co. and in January 1947 traveled to Amchitka, one of the Aleutian Islands off Alaska. He returned to the Continental United States in December, 1947 and was assigned to Stockton General Depot (Sharpe General Depot) at Tracy, CA. During this time his three-year detail to the QM Corps ended and he was afforded the opportunity to return to the Air Force or remain with the QM Corps. Due to the uncertainty of Air Force assignments in 1949, he elected to stay with the quartermaster Corps. In 1951, he attended the Officer’s Course at Ft. Lee, VA, and upon completion was assigned to the USAREUR Quartermaster School in Lenggries, Germany. After his promotion to Captain in 1953, he was appointed Chief of the Supply Training Branch. At the end of his three and a half year tour of duty, he returned to Ft. Lee, VA and, after attending an Instructor’s Course, was permanently assigned to the QM School to tailor lesson plans for use by reserve units at their home bases throughout the United States. After completing the Commodities Course at Ft. Lee, VA, he was sent to the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) Headquarters in Verona, Italy in December, 1956 and after a short time with Task Force Sierra, was assigned to the Office of the Quartermaster General as Supply Officer. Upon completion of this overseas assignment, he reported to Camp Kilmer, NJ for duty at the US Army Reserve Center on 42nd Street, New York, in January, 1960. On 31 October 1962, he retired from the Army, after over twenty years of Honorable service.

For the next twenty years, Murphy worked as assistant to the Customer Service Manager at Sears and Roebuck and Company in Abington, PA. He and his wife, Dorothy, raised two sons, Joseph P. Murphy, Jr. and Robert John Murphy. They both followed in their father’s foot steps. Upon graduation from Burlington City High School, Joe, Jr. enlisted in the US Army and served honorably with the 1st Cavalry Division as a Crew Chief/Door Gunner on a Huey Helicopter in Vietnam, receiving the Bronze Star and Air Medal with clusters. Robert enlisted in the US Air Force and served honorably as an Electronics Specialist in Bremerhaven, Germany. Murphy and his wife are presently located in Wildwood Crest, NJ, where they are involved in community affairs, after working for five years with the Wildwood Department of Tourism in their Information Center on the Boardwalk.




B-17 CREW ON AIRCRAFT # 42-37748


The crew formed at Pyote, Texas, June 1943; Phase training at Dyersburg, TN, July & August, 1943; assigned Aircraft (B-17) at Grand Island, NE 17 September, 1943; proceeded to Presue Isle, ME 22 September, 1943; flew to Goose Bay, Labrador 24 September, 1943 and then on to Prestwick, Scotland, arriving 28 September, 1943.

They joined the 100th Bomb Group in October 1943 and were flying their second mission when lost. Eight crewmembers were carried as MIA until 17 August 1945 and then determined to be KIA. This probably indicates the ship was never found and could have crashed in the English Channel.

All of the above KIA are memorialized on the WALL OF THE MISSING at Cambridge Cemetery, England.

The crew arrived at Thorpe Abbots, England on 10 October, 1943. It was late in the evening and we were taken to the Operations Room, where we met the other members of the 100th. We were shown a large chalkboard roster, with erasure marks through all names with the exception of the crew of Lt. Robert Rosenthal, Pilot. Since we had all trained with “Rosie” in Dyersberg, Tennessee, we asked what happened to him. We were told that his was the only crew to return from the raid on Muenster. It was a bleak beginning of our tour!

On 5 November, 1943, while flying our second mission, we were hit by hostile fire, four hours into the flight, at approximately 1300 hours, and the engine, compass and electrical system went out. I salvoed the bombs and we left formation and headed toward England. The Pilot, Tom Martin, asked the Navigator, Jim Mc Curley, for a heading back to England and after he gave the new heading to the Pilot, he started to estimate the ETA (estimated time of arrival) over the English Channel. The Pilot let down at approximately 1400 or 1500 hours and we came out of the clouds. At this time, we were hit again by Anti-Aircraft fire, as we were over the coast of France, not the English Channel. After we were hit a second time Lt. Martin, called to abandon ship, due to two engines being shot out. Lt. Mc Curley, the Navigator, parachuted first. I sat in the escape hatch in the nose and looked up at the Pilot. (The co-Pilot and Engineer were not in their positions). They were probably wounded. (Many times during training, I would look down and think that if it ever came to bailing out, I would hold onto the aircraft because it would be something solid. However, when the time came, I didn’t hesitate). Although I didn’t want to leave my friend Tom Martin, “Jug”, as we affectionately called him, I realized that each second counted for my survival. When I jumped, the aircraft continued into a cloud and was never seen again. It probably crashed in the English Channel or could have exploded in the air, as no trace of the plane or crew was ever found.

While floating in the air, it was amazing how extremely quiet it was at that altitude. Mac and I were close enough in the air to be able to speak to each other and I “chewed” him out, because I thought I was going to get my new watch wet. My wife, Dot, had bought it for me at the Exchange in Dyresburg, as a “going-away” gift. The westerly prevailing winds blew us over the coast of France and we landed in a plowed field about eighteen (18) kilometers south of Dieppe, France. We immediately got together and went into a small, wooded area, buried our parachutes and then took off our flight uniforms and brass and buried them. We started to walk when we came upon a country lane and the first human being we encountered was a German soldier on a bicycle. Suddenly he came around a curve in the road and we kept walking past him. We looked at him and he looked at us for a second and we both continued on our way. Whew, that was a close one! Shortly after, two young girls on bicycles (with the traditional French loaves of bread in their basket passed us.
A little further on, we approached three or four farmers having a conversation. We asked them for directions to PARIS, but they did not understand our English. Mac picked up a stick and printed P A R I S , in the dirt, at which time all of the farmers said in unison “Ahh PAREE ! They pointed in the direction of Paris, but warned us not to enter the village, as it was full of the Boche (Germans). We proceeded to walk in that direction.

As we were walking cross-country towards Paris, we came upon a farmer harvesting sugar beets with his young daughter. Mac tried to trade sweaters with the farmer, but he said he wouldn’t give up the sweater because he had just gotten it from a British flyer who had been shot down. He took us into the hedgerow and told us that if we would wait until dark, he would try to help us. He sent his daughter home earlier and waited with us until dark. Then he explained that the main road we had to cross was patrolled by the Germans, so he had us wait until the “coast was clear” and then waved us across the road. He took us to his home and before supper with his family, his wife and children, he tended to the parachute burn on my face, which was bleeding. (I had an American Chest Chute on when I jumped and in the excitement, I didn’t remember to turn my head to avoid the silk when it came out of the pack. As it released, it ripped my face).
After supper, he took us into the village and introduced us to an older man who spoke perfect English. This man told us that this poor farmer was going to introduce us a rich farmer who he felt would help us, but under no circumstances would he do us any harm. After the introduction at the door, the farmer left us with our new friend, as he did not want to know any of the further arrangements, in case the Germans should question him later.

The rich farmers name was Guy Noel. He questioned Mac in French (Mac had studied French for several years in school and was trying to use his knowledge of the language to help us). Shortly thereafter, Guy surprised us by saying in perfect English --
“Come in boys!” He told us that his job was not personnel (he had a powerful radio and that was his job in the Underground), but he said he would keep us for about a week. After a week, something else would happen and the Germans would lose all interest in us). In the meantime he would make inquiries and see if he could get us to the right people who would help us. We stayed in his barn until about the 12th of November.

Around the middle of November, a Mr. Coudre, who was a mechanic and had a Commercial Garage, came in his truck and drove us to the Berteville area to a farmer named Payen. There we met Mr. Payen and his family-- his wife, daughter, Marie Rose, and one of her Grandfathers. Here again, we were to live in the farmer’s barn, because the Germans had evacuated children from the Dieppe area and assigned them to live on the surrounding farms. These children were strangers, and although they were good children, he did not want them to know we were there. We came into the farmhouse only after dark for food and then returned to the barn at night. (I love raw onions and luckily they were stored in the barn. When Mrs. Payen heard that she baked an Onion pie for me. Although I don’t like cooked onions, I thanked her for her kindness and ate every bit of it to show my appreciation!) An interesting, but disturbing, fact that Mr. Payen told us was that he was required to supply so much butter periodically to the German army. They would then throw graphite into the butter to make lubricating grease for their vehicles. What a waste!

One afternoon, Mac and I observed, from the barn, a German soldier approach the house on his bicycle. He entered the house and about a half-hour later emerged with a package in his hand. Mr Payen and he seemed to be friendly toward each other and they shook hands and the German soldier road away, happily waving goodbye. That evening, when we entered the house for our evening meal, we asked what that was all about. Mr. Payen explained that the soldier, who was about his age, wanted to buy some fresh food so he could prepare a home-cooked meal for himself. In their conversation, they discovered that in World War I they had been in the trenches, on opposite sides, in the same battle area. Imagine that! Then Grandpere mentioned that this was the third time he had seen the Boche invade France.

Christmas being a big holiday in France, the Payen family was planning a big family reunion on the farm. For safety’s sake, it was felt that we should be moved off the farm. Mr. Coudre and his two daughters, Huguette and Claudine, came in his truck and took us to live with their family in the village. (We were amazed to learn that Mr. Coudre’s daughters were the two girls we had seen riding bicycles shortly after we landed, at which time we both remarked about the beauty of the French girls!)

When we arrived at the Coudre home, they told us to remove our shoes and be very quiet. They led us to the third floor bedroom. We noticed a “lump” in the bed and couldn’t wait to be alone so we could investigate. To our surprise, it turned out to be an old World War I artillery shell, which had been converted to a bed warmer. It was a treat to have a warm bed, after spending the last six weeks in barns. We also had a fireplace in the bedroom, so we had heat.

The next day, Huguette, who spoke fairly good English, along with Mac’s “schoolboy” French, helped us to discover the reason for being so quiet the night before. There were two German Officers billeted on the second floor (and we were on the third floor). However, she told us that they left for work promptly at 6 AM every morning and didn’t return until about 6 PM every evening. We could tell when they left for work by the sound of their boots on the stairs.

The roof of the garage was missing but Mr. Coudre and his mechanics did their work as if there was a roof on the garage. He would close and lock the gates every night and open them again in the morning. To pass the time, Mac and I would watch the farmers come on market day. It was interesting to see how courteous the French people were to each other. When they arrived, Mr. Coudre would stop what he was doing, take out a cloth and wipe the grease off of his hands before shaking hands with the farmers to greet them. This happened each and every time another farmer arrived or departed.

Another thing we found fascinating was that Mr. Coudre had a unique bargaining tool. In his vest pocket he carried a packet of sewing machine needles, which he used to barter for food.
It was lucky that Mac understood French because when we were fortunate enough to see a newspaper, which wasn’t too often, he could read it and tell me what was happening. There were articles about social gatherings, but mostly German propaganda; ie, American or British aircraft bombed a certain area (which the French already knew about because they witnessed it) and a substantial number of planes were shot down. Then it would say that a large number of German aircraft bombed England and no German planes were lost). The French laughed because they knew it was all propaganda.

On the 17th of January, 1944, Mr. Robert Trouart, a chauffeur, from Osterville Sur Mer, came to the Coudre’s home and drove us to Sanvic, (near Le Havre), by way of the town of Bolbec, where we visited friends of Robert. We had a chance to listen to the radio while there. We then continued on to Sanvic and met Monsieur Georges Maguin, the leader of the Resistance for the Le Havre area, in a building (not his home). After a short conversation, which was difficult because of the language barrier, Monsieur Maguin walked us to the home of Mlle. Madeleine Lamy at Rue de Belfort, Sanvic. She lived with her father and brother, L’Abbe Maurice Lamy, who was a Priest teaching mathematics at St. Joseph’s Boy’s School in Le Havre.

Robert Trouart was arrested by the Gestapo on April 2, 1944 and sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, near Cracow, Poland. He was taken by wagons with one hundred and twenty (120) men in each. They were without food or drink for four days and nights. It was impossible to sleep, going on as fast as possible. Finally he was taken to Buchenwald, where he lost twenty-one (21) pounds. It was there that he heard that Monsieur Maguin, head of the Resistance in Le Havre, had died in extreme misery.

Mado, as she liked to be called, was very fluent in the English language. As a young woman, she had studied English in school and during the summer months traveled to England to be Governess for an English family. She taught French to the children and in turn perfected her own knowledge of the English language. Later, she came to the United States and worked at several positions in New York City. Her mother died and she returned to Sanvic to care for her father and brother, Maurice, who at that time was a Seminarian living at home. Shortly thereafter, France was occupied by the Germans, which forced her to remain in France.

One of Mado’s friends was an English teacher at the Girl’s School in Le Havre where she taught cooking. Once a week her friend would come for one of Mado’s delicious home-cooked meals. After dessert, we all enjoyed our conversations in English. I could empathize with Mr. Lamy because he didn’t understand English and I didn’t understand French, although I was beginning to understand a little by this time. The only English word he knew was “pussy cat”. (Pistou was the family cat, whom I taught manners one night when he decided to sleep on my chest. I was awakened in the middle of the night because I couldn’t breathe, and there was Pistou. I tossed him out of the window and he never bothered me after that!

In time we needed haircuts and the Lamy’s had a cousin who had barbered at one time. He came to the house and cut our hair. After he left, Mado told us that they had not spoken for several years before the war because of his admiration for Adolph Hitler. He thought that Hitler was making real progress by building roads and other things, helping to lift the German economy out of the depression; while in his country of France, nothing was being done to improve the French economy. However, their friendship was renewed after the Germans invaded France.

We looked forward to the visits of Maurice, who was a very neat little man about our age. We taught him card games and after a while, he started to win, so we started to “cheat” a little. He was such a gentleman that he wouldn’t let us know he had caught us cheating, but we would sense that he knew because he would blush. We would then change and teach him a different game.

Maurice always carried a “rucksack” (briefcase) on his visits and he would bring food sometimes. However, he always had his knitting with him and he would knit gloves and socks. He said this came about because his room at the school was very cold and he knitted to keep his hands warm; thus the socks and gloves.

Mr. Lamy worked in a small foundry for one of the Public Utilities in Le Havre. In his home he built a work shop and laundry room. It contained a wood stove to which he attached a water heater. We finally had our first bath since we arrived in France two months ago. What a treat!! We had taken “sponge baths” but never anything as wonderful as this.

We were all supposed to have our pictures taken at the base in England to carry with us in case we were shot down. Mac had found the time to get his picture taken but I had not. Therefore, when the French decided to fabricate Identification papers for us, Mac, with his pictures, simplified the process. On the other hand, I needed to have my picture taken. One attempt was made, by having a local amateur photographer take my picture in the Lamy’s living room, but this did not prove to be satisfactory. It was decided that Mado would take me to the Photography Studio in Le Havre of a young woman photographer. On the way, she explained to me the story she was going to use at the photo studio. I was her brother and had been in a recent bombing and was mentally incompetent and was going to be institutionalized and the photos were for my Identification Card. She further explained that I was to act dumb and therefore it would be difficult for me to understand the photographer. She then stopped, looked up at me (she was a petite woman, less than five feet tall) and said, “Act dumb, but don’t act too damn dumb!!!” When we entered the shop, we encountered two German Officers who had just had their pictures taken and were about to leave the shop. Mado explained our situation to the photographer and she led me by the hand to the seat in front of the camera. She posed me for a picture. In the meantime, Mado was standing behind the camera laughing at me, and I also started to laugh. I’m sure the lady thought I was really crazy.

The Identification Cards were made within a short time and we carried them for the remainder of our stay in France. Fortunately, we were never asked to show them to the Germans.



Many in our Sanvic area had, since long, understood that their dear Vicar, Maurice Lamy, would not overcome the illness that was destroying him. They were practically certain of it. His next disappearance grieved them. He was the only one to believe that the results of the medical operation he had undergone on December 13, 1983 would get him out of trouble... He, alone, followed his illusions.

On March 6, 1984, the Santa Theresa Chapel was more than filled with a multitude of friends. Amongst them, some forty priests prayed around the coffin of the man who had been the life and soul of the area over almost fifty years. The Bishop of Le Havre, Father Saudreau, attended the ceremony. He recalled the “good shepherd” Maurice Lamy has been during all his life. Former student and former professor at St. Joseph’s College, then curate in the St. Denis parish, he was specially in charge of Santa Theresa area.

It is difficult, even impossible to say, in a few words, all what this priest did amongst so many families for which he would feel so pastorally responsible.

Deceased at 65, he had been living since he was 8 in Rue de Belfort. His family had to leave his birthplace in the French Comte (east of France) as unemployment was severely grieving the country. Ordained in 1943 he dedicated his time to pastoral activities.

During the war he did not hesitate to give assistance, sometimes at the risk of his life, to U.S. soldiers shot down by German Anti Aircraft defense. He even kept some at home in spite of the superlative risk he and his family would run.

We shall easily understand affection shown by the people he had been living with for almost half a century. When the news of his death was known a deep sorrow grieved the whole area. Each one would recollect all the apostolic tasks he had dedicated his life to, as only a courageous, hard worker and deeply attached to his sacerdotal life priest can be.

He was a priest whose clear-sightedness forced him to face the future with self possession as far as replacement of old priests was concerned. The rank of the young priest are so spare! He had set up, years ago, a remarkable team of young women and men, dedicated to their task and involved in liturgy.

No one who happened to know Maurice Lamy will ever pass in front of his “chapel” without a thought of gratitude towards the priest who took such pains to embellish both the inside and exterior of such a pleasant worship place; no one will refrain from thinking of the priest who, still recently, would honour with much enthusiasm and fervor the God to whom he had dedicated his whole life.

(Translated into English by a local Sanvic citizen)

Something Mac and I really needed was a toothbrush, since we hadn’t been able to brush our teeth thoroughly since landing three months ago. Mado walked miles and paid a high price for two of them, but she said she was rewarded for her efforts with many thanks and bright smiles.

Mado came home one day and told us she was able to get some black dye, so she dyed our OD shirts, pants and zipper sweaters. Later she dyed our shoes black, (When we returned to England, we learned that the Air Force was now issuing black shoes).

When Monsieur Maguin, the head of the Resistance in Le Havre was picked up, along with many others in the underground movement, Mado thought that because of her contact with him, she might be the next one to be arrested by the Gestapo. A couple of weeks later, for our safety, she made arrangements for the Girette sisters, Madeleine and Genevieve, to come to her house at night and take us to their home in Le Havre. We stayed with them until Easter Sunday, 1944.

Mado came to the Girette’s on Easter Sunday morning and introduced us to a young woman and man. (I believe her name was Yvonne and the young man was her brother). She told us they were the people we were to meet at the Railroad Station. Mado had purchased train tickets for us to Paris and gave them to us at Girette’s home and explained to us the arrangements for our trip to Paris. We followed Mado to the Station in Le Havre and she held a short conversation with the young couple we had just met. We had been instructed that when Mado left this couple, we were to follow them and when they stopped beside a particular railroad car, that was the car we were to enter and take seats in the first compartment. Just before the train pulled out of the station, Yvonne and her brother boarded the train and entered our compartment. They gave each of us a newspaper and we were to either read the paper or pretend to be asleep so no one would engage us in conversation.

After the war Madeleine was highly insulted when she received a check for 15,000 francs from the British and American Governments to cover her expenses in helping Allied aviators and she quickly returned the check with this scathing letter:

Madeleine LAMY, 8 Rue de Belfort SAVIC S.I.

To Major John J. WHITE, Jr.
1b4 Avenue des Champs Elysee, PARIS

Major WHITE,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 17th inst. By which you let me know that the British and American Governments have pleasure in handing me a checque for 15,000 francs, asking me to accept it to cover my expenses in helping allied Aviators.

Major, will you please let me attract your attention to the fact that I am astounded to see that these figures of 15,000 frs are supposed to repay me for sheltering and boarding 2 American Flying Officers for nearly 3 months during the German Occupation of France.

It looks like you have but a very poor idea of the conditions of our life under the Nazi heels. If I am right 15,000 frs, that is to say $125.- to board 2 men from January 17th to April 9th 1944 means 83 days, therefore $1.50 per day for each. I paid their expenses while they remained at the Girette’s.

The clothes and underclothes I got for them were by far more valuable then those 15,00 francs! What about Dad’s and my brother’s underwear I gave them?!!

May I tell you my Sweat
“ ” “ ” “ ” To get their food (here in Le Havre that meant miles to walk and over 100 steps to run down and climb every day)
“ ” “ ” “ ” To get their clothes
“ ” “ ” “ ” To fix their food.
“ ” “ ” “ ” To gather small pieces of wood for their cooking, washing,bathing.
“ ” “ ” “ ” Etc....etc.
Can’t be weighed and valued in francs, and all the more as this extra work was done on top of a hard day’s work.

What about the price of food, most of which had to be obtained through the black market. When they left, I loaded them with food. Food was more valuable than gold.

Really, Major, you break my heart in thinking so little of your Officer’s comfort!!!

After their departure, even though until the arrestation of my boss, I was given 100 francs a day by our secret Organization. I was in dept for 3000 francs.... You are permitted to guess that I had previously disposed of our savings in their honor.

Would you have taken an American boy who didn’t speak French to a photographer’s, in whose shop were 6 German Officers, for $125.-? Well, I did it.... necessite oblige!!! Identification cards couldn’t be made without pictures.

Would you believe that to find a toothbrush at the time as sport!!! I needed 2!! You would be surprised at the price I paid and the miles I walked to get them! I must say I was repaid right away. Mac and Joe were so pleased to be able to clean their teeth decently for the first time in 3 months.

What about the little walk at night?... The boys needed exercise. Be sure, Major we didn’t look at the moon!!! Instead, we met the French or German “Patrouilles”...$125. - How grotesque!!!!

I wouldn’t dare insult my charwoman who had to face and outwit the Boches while Mac and Joe were in bed, in estimating her life at your miserable rate!!!

What about the life of my Father, of my 4 brothers, their wives and children? Of my own too? For 83 days we have been in danger and the least we could expect was the torture chamber and the Concentration Camp at the end. We never thought of the risks, because we believed that the life of those Aviators were of more value to the Allies’ cause than ours.

Therefore Major, allow me to tell you what you have no right to insult us in sending such a checque to indemnise us. There are things that can’t be paid. Be sure that if I were out for money, I would have worked for the Boches, who were more generous. Their price here, at the time, was 25,000 frs. Per head. In my case, that meant: 50,000 frs. Of course, no more danger, no toil, no sweat!!! Cash on the spot!!! May I remind you that 50,000 of those francs meant much more than the same amount today. That price was official. Hugh posters were all over the City for anyone to be tempted.

How funny to see how little you Americans think of a decent girl who didn’t bargain with hardship and fear for the safety of your fellowmen compared to the way you treat some street girls who slept with any Boche. With any Yankee afterwards. Because, G.I. Brides, are privileged with every facilities and honors to travel freely to the States. No doubt, I’ll have to pay for my passage when I’ll go to the States to marry a Veteran!!!

On Sunday the 21st inst., here in le Havre, a French girl was awarded the Legion of Merit. All the big shots were there: Generals, Consul, etc... lots of brass, flags and music. When I asked: “What did she do?” The answer was: “She served for one year with the Army in an office in le Havre.” Wasn’t she paid to do the job? Fed by your Army? Etc... One would rather understand a decoration given in memoriam to an Underground fighter who gave his life so that your Airmen would go back home and see the Statue of Liberty, instead of some girl who is paid to do a job!!!

I fought without a uniform, in the Underground, because I believed in Democracy, in Right, in Justice, in the value of human soul. My direct boss, Monsieur Maguin, died in Buchenwald; he didn’t betray us, he stuck to his ideal. He, who at a time, was responsible for 16 Airmen. By the way, did you put (fin) at the corner of his file like you did mine??

I didn’t lick the Boches’ boots. I didn’t hang my head under their law. So Major, I am sending you back that cheque which is burning my fingers. I need no charity. Thanks God, there are in the States a few real Americans with big hearts, who of their own free will, have told me their gratitude and materialized it in admirable ways. Their friendship and understanding wipe away the awkwardness and clumsiness of your official bureaucracy.

Yours sincerely,
Madeleine LAMY

You can see by Mado’s letter that she was very hurt. She would rather have received public recognition in the form of a letter, certificate or even a medal. I understand that Major White came from Paris in 1945 to visit Mado in Sanvic and presented the Medal of Freedom to her, and a new check. She used the money to pay her passage to the United States to marry John Lamy, a distant cousin.

Mado was very happy with John in New York City until her untimely death on the 11th of September, 1970 at the age of 63. She fell down the stairs in her home and broke her neck. Such a tragic ending to such an exemplary life of courage! We were devastated when we received the news --- it just doesn’t seem fair.

When the train arrived in Paris, we followed Yvonne and her brother into the Metro and they took us to a College or University dormitory. It was Easter Sunday, 9 April 1944, and the students were off on holiday. We stayed overnight and the next day were taken to what appeared to be a Grade School and introduced us to a man named Monsieur Maurice, who was the Administrator. (He and his wife, Marguerite, were arrested on 4 June 1944, sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and were later killed at Buchenwald.) He then walked us to the apartment of Mlle. Genevieve, who had a friend living with her by the name of Olympe Vasseur. While there, Olympe would take us out “sightseeing” almost every day, we learned later that these walks were to strengthen our legs for the long walk to the coast after the invasion. We visited the Church of the Madeleine and the Sacre Cour de Montmarte. Once she even took us to see the “Can Can” dancers at a nightclub in Montmarte. We visited Napoleon’s Tomb, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Zoo and the book stalls along the Seine River. It was there that Mac bought some stamps for his collection. During one of our walks, two German Officers approached us and asked Mac what time it was. Since he could understand and speak French (and they wouldn’t know whether it was good or not) he answered them and they didn’t realize he was an American. However, after that “close call”, Mac was advised to remove his watch and not wear it again.

We went to two movies (all in French, of course). Mac enjoyed them because he understood everything, but the only thing I understood was when the actor answered the telephone and said “Hello” or used the expression “50-50". Then the Germans started coming into theaters unexpectedly at the beginning of the movie, turning up the lights and asking for Identification papers. We learned later that they were looking for young men for laborers and they would march those selected immediately to trucks they had waiting outside. Because of this practice, we never attended any more movies.

Mac insisted he wanted to see the “Bastille”. Olympe just laughed at him, but he continued to persist, so one day she took us to see the monument to the Bastille. Mac was quite disappointed because he expected to see an old Prison or remains like the Alamo in Texas. Instead, it was a “Camponile” type monument.

Another day, Olympe took us to the Trocadero, on the Rue de la Cour, where we visited a Beauty Salon owned by a friend of hers named Monsieur Nicolas. (We later learned that he was killed during the liberation of Paris. His widow still lives in Paris). On the ground floor there was a cosmetic shop--perfumes, etc. It was beautifully done in white and black tile. We stayed at the perfumery and she explained to us that at the top of a very grand staircase there was a Bar. Men and women customers could go there have a drink, as they waited for their appointments. The bartender would get a call when they were ready for a customer. They sometimes had another drink on their way out of the Salon.

Maurice came one day and took us to the racetrack. He walked us right down to the rail and we stood beside some German soldiers. He told us that the reason there was so much empty space near the Germans was that the French despised the Bosche and would not stand near them.

The Resistance Organization moved us to the apartment of Monsieur John and his son, because they felt that Genevieve’s apartment was being watched. We found it interesting to watch John and his son make shoes, Since leather was scarce, they only made shoes once in awhile. They would look in their “cookie jar” where they kept their money, and when it was empty, they would search for leather and make another pair of shoes!

On June 6, 1944, the Allied Invasion took place on the coast and the Allies announced that all traffic rail or vehicle, in and out of Paris would be strafed. Prior to that time, French trucks flew white flags and the planes would not strafe them.

About a week to ten days later, we were again moved to an apartment in Passage Brady, which was managed by Olympe’s mother. We stayed with her until 11 August, 1944, when Olympe came and took us to the Railroad Station in Paris. She had a conversation with a woman who had a tall rather strangely dressed fellow with her. (We found out later that he was a French Canadian flyer who had been shot down and was also evading capture.) He lived in this lady’s village and all of the townspeople knew he was there. When he was about to leave for the Railroad Station, the Mayor of the village, who was quite elderly, insisted that he wear his best suit. It was comical to see this tall fellow in pants that didn’t even reach his shoe tops and sleeves that were far above his wrists! Mac and I had a hard time keeping from laughing out loud.

When Olympe left us, we followed this lady. She met a man at the train and we followed him onto the train. We were only able to ride for a short distance out of Paris because the railroad tracks had been destroyed by Allied bombers. We got off the train and followed the man into Normandy. We would walk for a while and when our leader sat down, we sat down. It felt so good to rest our legs because he really had us walking at a pretty good pace. But Oh, how it hurt when we had to get up and start walking again. We did this for about four days, being led by several different people and staying at various homes along the way.

We finally stayed for about ten days with a farmer, whom we called “Paul Revere”, because he would listen to the British Broadcasts to find out how close the troops were, and then he would go out to see where they were. Most of the time he would return to the house disgusted because the troops weren’t where the British said they would be.

Much of the time we were hidden in the loft, coming into the house after dark to eat with the family. “Paul Revere” had a son about fifteen years old, who was a member of the Maquis. This group lived in the woods, out of sight of the Germans. Because of their age, they were liable to be utilized by the Germans in some capacity, As the Allied troops came into their area, the Maquis took up arms and harassed the German Army.

Pete, the French Canadian flyer with whom we traveled from Paris, eased our language difficulty because he spoke fluent French. However, being Canadian, there were words that differed from the French words. His English was more American than British because, while in training, many Americans had volunteered into the Canadian Air Force, and he had picked up our slang. Also, because of his Canadian accent, the Frenchmen were suspicious, because he sounded like a German speaking French. However in time they accepted him.
One day “Paul Revere” went into the village on his bicycle and when he returned he said that the American troops had arrived, He rounded up all ten evaders that he was harboring and took us to the village. It was deserted except for a lone Gendarme. He advised us to break up into twos and threes and go into vacant houses on the Village square. Before we could accomplish this, American ambulances entered the square. The Gendarme stopped one and the Sergeant in the ambulance explained that there had been a fire fight on the other side of the village and he was evacuating the more seriously wounded Americans. However, there were more ambulances following him with the less wounded and he felt that there would be room for us to ride along. Other ambulances did follow and they took us to the American Base.

They gave us a truck and a driver and told him to take us back to higher headquarters, which happened to be an Armored Division. They were in the process of attacking another French town and they assigned another Sergeant and truck driver to drive us to another higher headquarters. At that point, they separated the Americans from the British forces and we never saw any of them again.

We traveled until dark, when the driver and Sergeant got so tired that they decided to wait until daybreak to locate this particular headquarters. When daylight arrived, there was a great deal of activity on the other side of the field from where we had parked, and, low and behold, there was the headquarters we had been searching for.

After a short interrogation, we were directed to a field mess, and a supply depot. There were also some tents erected where we could rest while they were making arrangements for our return to England. I was so exhausted from the long, cold night in the truck that I flopped on the ground in the tent and went sound asleep. But Mac visited the supply dump and came back dressed in full GI uniform, complete with helmet!

A few hours later, they rounded us up and provided us with transportation to the town of Avranches, where we boarded a transport plane for England. We were finally on our way back to our Base!!

We arrived in London and were taken to an Interrogation Unit and while there, we were billeted in the Red Cross Club. The next day, a full Colonel came into the Headquarters of the Intelligence organization and he wanted to know who the people were in civilian clothes. I guess we looked like a motley crew! He said that he wanted us in uniform and he arranged transportation for us and we were off to the local Post Exchange so that we could be provided with proper uniforms. A few of the fellows who obtained uniforms in France, like Mac, were considered to be properly dressed so they did not get to go with us. Mac was sorry that he had been so hasty, when he saw the new uniforms that were provided for us. We were supposed to be supplied one each of everything. The salesgirls said, “You just can’t get along with only one pair of socks, set of underwear and a shirt.” So they made sure we each had two or three of everything. The best part was, we didn’t have to pay for any of it. It was all on Uncle Sam!

After we were in proper uniform, we returned to the Intelligence Unit and Mac was one of the first to be interrogated. He emerged from the office laughing and when we questioned him about what was so funny, he said that his brother-in-law was the person who interrogated him, and informed him that his son, Jimmy, Jr. had been born. Mac borrowed some money from his brother-in-law and sent a telegram to his wife, Bettye, in Reisterstown, MD (I learned later that my wife, Dottie, had visited Mac’s wife the week before in Maryland and they re-read letters we had written before we were shot down, in the hopes, that they could find some clue as to our whereabouts-- maybe a secret mission to Russia, etc. When Bettye received the telegram from Mac, she called Dottie right away. When she answered the phone, Bettye said “Are you sitting down, I got a telegram?” Right away Dottie thought it was the notification that we had been killed in action. But then she heard Bettye say,--It says “JOE AND I ARE WELL. NOTIFY DOROTHY. TWO SONS.” That was Mac’s way of letting Bettye know that he knew his son had been born. It was quite a relief for the wives to learn that we were alive and that they would soon see us again. It had been a long time!

A day or so later we returned to the 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbotts and the only person remaining who we knew was “Big Pete” Peterson. We had trained with him at Pyote Texas and Dyresburg, Tennessee and we also had shared the Quonset hut with and his crew. Jim Musser was his Pilot and Pete was his navigator. He wasn’t transferred to Italy with the rest of Musser’s crew, because Pete had lost a finger in an accident on Base. He then became the Lead Navigator for the group.

After we got our personnel records together at the 100th Bomb Group, we returned to London for our flight to the States. We arrived in Washington, DC on 2 September, 1944, ten months after we parachuted into occupied France. It was wonderful to see this great adventure come to a successful conclusion and even more wonderful to be reunited with our wives and families!

I will always be grateful to the courageous French patriots who risked their lives so that we could return safely to our families. As my wife, Dottie tearfully told Olympe when she met her for the first time in Toronto, Canada in September, 1995 - “If it wasn’t for the courageous acts of you and others, in hiding Joe, I wouldn’t have my husband, children or grandchildren! How can I ever thank you?” Olympe brushed away her tears and said, “I would gladly do it again if necessary.”

VIVE LA FRANCE and VIVE Olympe and all of the others -- the Payens, Coudres, Trouart, Madeleine and Father Maurice Lamy, the Girette sisters, Ynonne and her brother. Maurice and Marguerite, Genevieve, Monsieur Nicolas, Olympe’s mother, “Paul Revere” and all the others whose names are unknown to me. And may Monsieur Maguin’s soul and the souls of all the others who were so brutally tortured and killed in Concentration Camps, REST IN PEACE!

Lt. James W. Mc Curley, departed this life in December, 1972.



5 Nov 0900- Take off from airfield at Thorpe Abbotts for second mission over Germany.

1300- Bomber is hit by antiaircraft fire, leaves formation, and heads back to England.

1500- Bomber is hit again by antiaircraft fire near Dieppe, France. Murphy and McCurley bail out.

Land safely and ask farmers for way to Paris.Meet farmer, Jean Lejeune, who hides them until after dark and then takes them into his house for supper.After supper Lejeune takes Murphy and McCurley into nearby village to meet a Frenchman who speaks English and explains to them that this farmer will take them to a rich farmer (Guy Noel) who lives outside the village of Bertreville.

5-12 Nov Stay in barn at Noel’s farm.

12 Nov Driven by Mr. Coudre to farm of Mr. Payen in Bertreville area.

12 Nov - 23 Dec Stay in barn at Payen farm.

23 Nov Driven in Coudre’s truck to his home in Bertreville.

23-31 Dec Live in Coudre’s home.


1-16 Jan Live in Coudre’s home.

17 Jan Driven by Robert Trouart to Bolbec for a short visit then into village of Savic, near Le Havre.

17 Jan Met with George Maguin, Resistance leader for Le Havre area, who takes Murphy and McCurley to house of Madeleine Lamy.

17 Jan-31 Mar Live at Lamy house with Madeleine, her father and brother, L’Abbe Maurice Lamy, a Priest teaching mathematics at St. Joseph’s Boy’s School in Le Havre.

1-9 Apr Move to house of Girette sisters in Le Havre.

9 Apr Escorted by a woman named Yvonne and her brother, Murphy and Mc Curley take the train from Le Havre to Paris. They spend the night in a University dormitory Somewhere in Paris.

10 Apr Taken by Yvonne and brother to meet Maurice who walks them to the apartment of Mlle. Genevieve and Olympe.

10 Apr-31 May Live in apartment with Genevieve and Olympe.

31 May-16 Jun Move to apartment of shoemaker, John, and son and lived there until shortly after D-Day (June 6).

17 Jun Move to apartment managed by Olympe’s mother in Passage Brady section of Paris and lived in servants’ quarters on third floor.

17 Jun-10 Aug Murphy and Mc Curley live alone in servants’ quarters’ in apartment.

11 Aug Olympe takes Murphy and Mc Curley to railroad station and puts them on train with unnamed Frenchman and Canadian evader named Pete heading for the Normandy region. Rails blown up southwest of Paris, so men get off train and walk.

11-15 Aug Walked westward towards Allied forces. Stay with local farmers at night.

15-24 Aug Arrive at farm of man they name “Paul Revere” and remain there, living in his barn for ten days.

25 Aug “Paul Revere” escorts ten evaders into local village where Murphy and Mc Curely meet U.S. Army ambulances that take them to an
Army base.

26 Aug Two men driven by Army truck to an American Armored Division Headquarters. Later driven to airfield near Avranche and flown to London.

27-29 Aug Debriefed in London by Intelligence Section.

30 Aug Returned to 100 th Bomb Group in Thorpe Abbotts for out processing.

1 Sep Taken by rail to London for flight to U.S.A.

2 Sep Arrive in Washington D.C. End of European adventure.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT Information:


Burial Information:

Cambridge Military Cemetery


Thomas R. Martin crew

The Thomas R. Martin crew: (left to right) Standing; David M. Davis, Lloyd B. Arnett, Donald H. Allwine, Merritt K. Gillespie, Laveane E. Clark and Cosmos J. Braun, Jr., Kneeling; Thomas R. Martin, James A. Kennemer, James W. McCurley and Joseph P. Murphy. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives)

Thomas R. Martin 418th Pilot

Thomas R. Martin 418th P Alabama KIA 5 Nov 43 Gelsenkirchen Thomas R. Martin Crew

Crew List

1st Crew List

Use your thumb to scroll through the results box below.

Rank Name Pos Status
Lt MARTIN, Thomas R. P KIA
S/Sgt BRAUN, Cosmos J. BTG KIA
Sgt DAVIS, David M. WG KIA
S/Sgt CLARKE, Laverne E. TG KIA