- AFEES Member and Author Julien Ayotte is author of nine books, including Code Name Lily, Legend of the Belgian Resistance. Copies of his books can be ordered through his website. In January of 2023 he reported that after a hiatus of nearly two years, his latest novel, Spitting Images: A Harry Esten Mystery, had just been published and is available for sale on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and through his website, www.julienayotte.com. He will be returning to St. Joseph’s Church, 1200 Mendon Rd., Woonsocket, for his first weekend book signing of 2023. After all Masses on January 21 and 22, Spitting Images will be on sale in the Fr. Blain Hall on the lower level of the church. For those of you not familiar with the Mass schedule at St. Joseph’s Church, the book signings will be at approximately 4:45pm on the 21st, and 8:45am and 10:45am on Sunday the 22nd.
- Margy Fricke reported on Oct. 28, 2022 that she was “home from an amazing weekend honoring airmen, helpers, resistance fighters, and citizens in Stambruges, Belgium. The Air Force from Crieves air base was well represented and knew the stories. There is a WWII museum there; the staff are active reenactors. Dressed in period uniforms with jeeps, motorcycles, a landing boat, etc. Speeches, flags, dignitaries, and a beautiful new plaque telling the story of the crash and crew. Just mind-blowing.” There was a ceremony and dedication of a memorial to honor the crew of the Shack Rabbit III which crashed near Stambruges on October 20, 1943. Family representing Jim McElroy and Bob Metlen and others were there too. See the Defense Flash News interview with his daughter, Margaret Carlson Fricke, at the Shack Rabbit III B-17 commemoration.
- Jim David, retired National Parks Superintendent and AFEES member, joined the Okmulgee Indian Celebration. The photo below appeared in an article, “The Future of Ocmulgee Mounds” in a Fall 2021 issue of National Parks, the magazine of the National Parks Conservation Association.
- Louis Feingold flew 21 bombing missions, was shot down over occupied France and aided by the Shelburne Line, a World War II escape network operating in occupied France which returned 136 allied servicemen to England in 1943-44. The French Resistance located downed airmen and hid them from the Germans utilizing a series of safe-houses. Once a month—during dark of the moon—the men were transported to the Brittany coast to meet a British Gun Boat which would return them to England. On May 27, 2020, 7 p.m., Rick Feingold presented the story of how his father Lt. Louis Feingold, a B-17 U.S. Army Air Force navigator, escaped Nazi capture, a presentation hosted by the Wyckoff Library. In November 2020, the book Hide-and-Seek with the German Army by Clarke Brandt and Dick Smith was added to this website. It is about the B-17 Destiny’s Tot. Louis Feingold was the navigator. On May 20, 2021, from 7-8:00 p.m., Rick Feingold will give a presentation entitled, ” Escape from Behind Enemy Lines” Click here to register for the presentation. Click here to view the book.
- William Grosvenor’s story, Last Best Hope: A True Story of Escape, Evasion , and Remembrance, a PBS documentary, is now available on YouTube.
- William Provonsha, new member. In April 2020, at age 97, William W. Provonsha, joined AFEES. Shot down on a mission to Berlin in March 1944, he shared with us his memoir, “POW and Escape” which appears on this website. Mr. Provonsha passed away on October 18, 2020. To view his obituary, click here.
- Visit of the families of S/Sgt. Louis I. WATTS, Sgt. William L. EDGE, and Pvt. Joseph J. HOULIHAN to Leglantiers, Saint Just-en-Chaussee, Wavignies, Froissy, and Beauvoir (Oise) on Sept. 14-15, 2019 was hosted by the ASAA (Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen).
- AFEES President, John Katsaros, in October 2019 presented his books at the Collings Foundation in Stowe, Massachusetts as part of a reenactment with 350 actors. He gave additional presentations in the Boston area. He passed away on Saturday, January 9, 2021.
- AFEES Executive Vice-President, Lynn David, let us know the following: He is going to Europe for two weeks from the end of October to the first of November. He will see Joke Folmer, the well-known Dutch guide of airmen, on October 23 and 24 on her island. Then on to Brussels, Paris and the Pyrenees near where his father, Clayton David, crossed in to Spain. At the final banquet of the 8th AF Historical Society, Oct. 16-20, 2019 in St. Louis, MO, he addressed the delegates about the role of helpers in aiding downed airmen and the terrible loss of lives involved, two helpers for every airman helped in France, five helpers in Belgium, and 14 helpers in The Netherlands.
- Betty Binnebose Lewis was elected to the Board of Directors of the 8th AF Historical Society at its meeting in St. Louis, Oct. 16-20 to fill a vacancy. She had no opposition.
- AFEES Board Member Margy Fricke reports: I will miss St. Louis. I am going to go to the Comete reunion in Brussels. There are plans to go back to Rumes to place a plaque on the “hotel “ where the Hanottes prepared the evaders for the trip in France. Monique will be there and I want to be there to represent all of the evaders she helped. After her return, Margy reported: “The ceremony in Rumes was well attended…military representatives and the Canadian Ambassador to Belgium, the SHAPE band, school children, the WWII reenactors dressed in uniforms, their trucks and jeeps and about 200 others. I wasn’t able to spend much time with Monique; she was very busy talking with everyone. “Nadine” Dumon came for the events on Saturday and Sunday. Co and Louise de swart came this year.”
- AFEES Member Dirk Vijverman Reports the Following: On June 23 we held the 75th
anniversary commemoration at our monument to the crash of the B-17 “To Hell or Glory” at Outer, near Ninove, Belgium. In attendance was the former right waist gunner Henry Schultz, age 95, on his fourth visit to Belgium, along with his daughter and family. Also attending were Rick Mangan, of Seattle, nephew of the pilot Danny Mangan (kia), and Curtis Steinback, grandson of ball turret gunner Ray Smith. This was Steinback’s second visit, having come from Los Angeles. On Sept. 17, 2019, Dirk represented AFEES at the Operation Market Garden commemoration at Eerde, The Netherlands. Go to the AFEES Flag at WWII Commemorations page on this website and scroll down to item 25 to view photos of the commemoration. To view an article about the ceremony, with pictures of Danny Mangan and Henry Schultz, click on the following: artikel HLN 21JUN2019 Herdenking To Hell or Glory. To see an article and photos of the ceremony, click on the following: Article To Hell or Glory HLN 2019 06 23. For an English version, click on translation Newspaper article To Hell or Glory HLN 2019 06 23 ENG Tom LIOTTIER Belgium (1).
- On September 17 Dirk will be at EERDE (Holland) for the annual presence of the AFFES flag, by invitation of the local committee. But this year will be special–about the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden. From October 12-18 he and his wife will be in Normandy, at Angoville-Au-Plain near Utah Beach. In December he will be at Bastogne for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.
- On April 7, 2022, Dirk and his wife Carina attended the book presentation of the new book Luchtoorlog Boven Zeeland, Deel 5: Tholen en Sint Philipsland (Air War Over Zeeland, Part 5: Tholen and Sint Philipsland) by Wim De Meester and Kees Stoutjesdijk. The book series represents 50 years of work. The cover of volume 5 appears as follows:
- The book-signing ceremony took place at the town hall in Tholen. It included two representatives of the U.S. Embassy from The Hague (in uniforms), the mayor of Tholen (holding the book inscribed “To AFEES”), and the authors, from left to right, Kees Stoutjesdijk and Wim de Meester. See below:
- AFEES helper member, Marguerite Miller, gets skydiving wish:
CBS News video: 90-year-old who risked her life during World War II gets her skydiving wish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICBJZ7PcUt4
- AFEES member Mary Shier was congratulated for her job in organizing the
enormously successful AFEES annual reunion at Niagara, New York, May 15-19, 2019. Thank you Mary!