In 2004, the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society (AFEES) and the Friends of the Air Force Academy Library collaborated on the production of a DVD entitled EVADE! It contains interviews with American airmen who were shot down during WWII and who escaped capture as well as helpers of such airmen. The production of the DVD drew from the Ralph Patton escape and evasion papers stored at the McDermott Library at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Mr. Patton was a founder and president of AFEES. Part 1 of the DVD, the movie, was posted on YouTube on April 25, 2016. It is approximately 54 minutes long. The next three parts of the DVD were posted on YouTube in May. The last part, a slide show, was posted on YouTube on Oct. 31, 2016. The contents of the DVD are copyrighted by the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society. Please let the webmaster know if there are any problems in finding the DVD on YouTube. Copies of the DVD are available from AFEES to both members and non-members at no charge other than $3 per single disc for mailing costs. Contact the webmaster to obtain copies and for prices of larger quantitites.
Part 1 – The Movie
Part 1 can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyYQeUjbvWM, or type in the YouTube search field the title “EVADE! Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society (AFEES)”.
Major topics covered include:
- Timeless challenges of evasion
- Injury and Illness
- Psychological and Physiological Stress
- Concealment from the Enemy
- Navigation and Travel
- Working with Underground Helpers
The American airmen interviewed in the movie were WWII evaders, including the following:
- Clayton David (See the link to his unedited interview on YouTube below.)
- Paul Kenney (See the link to his unedited interview on YouTube below. For a link to his book elsewhere on this website click on: http://airforceescape.org/paul-e-kenney-my-story/ )
- Alfred Lea (For an article by Mr. Lea on this website, click on: http://airforceescape.org/escape-and-evasion-articles/from-american-airman-to-polish-infantryman/.)
- Eduard Miller
- Ralph Patton (See the link to his unedited interview on YouTube below.)
- Robert Sweatt (See below for the links to his unedited interview and to two promotional videos about a book on Sweatt.)
Part 2 – The Ralph Patton Story
Part 2 depicts the experiences of Lt. Ralph Patton, B-17 bomber co-pilot, who was shot down over France and how he escaped capture by the Germans and returned safely to England. It can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ8Oy_lKesw . A related article, “Top Secret: How Allied Airmen Evaded Capture” by Adam Lynch, can be found at http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/top-secret-how-allied-airmen-evaded-capture/.
Part 3 – The Life of an Underground Helper
Part 3 consists of interviews with two members of the Resistance, Yvonne Daley-Brusselmans and Marguerite Brouard-Fraser. Yvonne describes how her mother, Anne Brusselmans, helped scores of Allied airmen shot down over Belgium to evade the Nazis during WWII. Marguerite relates how her mother Alice Brouard in Paris helped 17 fliers and contended with attempts by German spies to infiltrate the escape line. Part 3 can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBdL0GlgMcY .
Part 4 – The AFEES History
In Part 4, Ralph Patton, one of the founders and a former president of AFEES describes the history of the organization, from 1954 when some American airmen returned to France to see the people who helped them evade capture by the Germans. Part 4 can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPQJ-Loid4w.
Part 5 – The Ralph Patton Collection
Part 5 provides in exhaustive detail material on the following subjects: (1) 8th Air Force in combat, including bomber formations, combat scenes, and fighter formations, (2) aircrew instructions, including bailout, cold weather, crash landing, ditching, first aid, flight suits, parachutes, and survival equipment, (3) armed forces newspapers, (4) evaders’ false identities, (5) Ralph Patton’s personal evasion experiences, and (6) Underground helpers. Part 5 can be viewed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8kYon2E_58.
A good many interviews made during the production of the EVADE! DVD were not used. As they are reviewed by the webmaster, some or all may be posted on YouTube. For now, the ones posted on YouTube are the following:
- EVADE! COMPLETE INTERVIEW WITH CLAYTON DAVID – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o90gJrD0RXM
- EVADE! UNEDITED INTERVIEW WITH RALPH PATTON – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riktLlQR0PE
- EVADE! UNEDITED INTERVIEW WITH PAUL KENNEY – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l0ti_RGT4E (To see his book on this website, click here.)
- EVADE! UNEDITED INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT SWEATT – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp1tL_n0qWE&t=3581s (For a book on Mr. Sweatt’s experiences, see the new book, Trouble, by Larry Smith, published in New York by Page Publishing Inc. in 2018. For a three-minute promotional video, click here. For a ten-minute video, click here.)
Links to Other Sources of Interviews
Some Bomb Groups of the 8th Air force have websites containing stories by their airmen. As they come to the attention of the webmaster, they will be listed here:
- 384th BG – http://www.384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/StoryList.php
- 453rd BG – http://www.453rd.com/stories.html
To check other Bomb Group websites, go to the list to be found at https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/links-to-other-escape-and-evasion-websites/united-states-army-air-forces-usaaf/world-war-ii-bomb-groups/ .