By Andre Rougeyron, Marie-Antoinett McConnell
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Extra info for Agents for Escape: Inside the French Resistance, 1939-1945
We did not go near the crash site for fear of being noticed. We scoured the surroundings of the Château all afternoon, but to no avail. M. we had a visit from a couple of gendarmes from a nearby station. They had been given orders to take part in the search for the parachutists, but they were not at all anxious to help the Germans. They stayed with us for the rest of the evening, and I had a feeling that, had they found an American, they would have hidden him very carefully. At nightfall I had to return to Domfront.
He was also searching for my crew. This is what we thought happened: Pilot Olaf Ballinger, escaped. Copilot John Carah, escaped. Bombardier George Wil- Page 25 liams, killed. Mechanic Cronstall, wounded. Radio operator John Lane, wounded. Gunner Wackerman, killed during the attack. Gunner Bouchée, killed during the attack. Machine gunner Owens, escaped. Tail gunner William C. Howell, escaped. We went through some tense moments because indiscretions occurred. The Germans were conducting an exhaustive search of the region, and the repulsive interpreter for the field police post offered a twenty-thousand-franc reward for information.
The plane crashed in a pasture, and some of the bombs exploded. Before the crash, the horizontal right stabilizer folded up. I landed near a farm, about three hundred meters from the forest. A French farmer took my flight boots, helmet, and parachute, then led me into the forest and left. I walked for a while until I found a place to hide, underneath a fir tree surrounded by bushes (it was full of mice). 30-30's; they also had dogs. Crawling and walking, I went about a mile, until I thought I couldn't be seen anymore.
Agents for Escape: Inside the French Resistance, 1939-1945 by Andre Rougeyron, Marie-Antoinett McConnell