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 the gift shop of the 8th Air Force Museum. Go to https://shop.mightyeighth.org/. An article, “Evade, The Experiences of Downed Aircrews”, that appeared in the AFEES newsletter, can be viewed at https://airforceescape.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/December-2004.pdf.
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: https://airforceescape.org/paul-e-kenney-my-story/ )
- Alfred Lea (For an article by Mr. Lea on this website, click on: https://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 . To read an English or French transcript of Mr. Patton’s description of this experiences, click here.
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.)
Additional Unedited Interviews With Multiple Evaders and Helpers Added April 2018
- Interview with Milan Boros, Paul Kenney, Floyd Carly, Ken Dunaway, Ralph Patton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iHbkDtlGEs&t=16s.
- Interview with Marguerite Brouard-Fraser, Eduard Miller, Yvonne Daley-Brusselmans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yrVbeKw-4E.
- Interview with Richard Smith, Alfred Lea, Clayton David: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6KtcODzc3Y&t=60s.
- Interview with Frank Lashinsky, Frank Heekin, George van Remmerden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkZ5kT1B96E&t=24s.
- Interview with John Rucigay, Ken Brower, Bud Loring, Howard DeMallie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x-2L368qfI&t=18s.
- Interview with Joseph Cagle, Robert Seidel, Joseph Manos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OO5CgQsSNo&t=6s.
- Interview with Stuart Leslie, Odell Hooper, O.B. Streeper, Robert Sweatt, Robert Davey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v63Xtre-Ao8&t=30s.
- Interview with Rosalie and Thomas Schantz, O.V. Roskey, Frank Schaeffer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCgUT684F7U&t=89s.
- Interview with Leecroy Clifton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C32O1kQ3Tjg
Mighty 8th Air Force Museum Oral History Collection
Links to Other Sources of Interviews
William D. Grosvenor’s Last Best Hope: A True Story of Escape, Evasion, and Remembrance, a PBS documentary, is available on YouTube.
An interview with AFEES member Robert Wilson, done as part of a series of “Interesting People” interviews is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QljVS_UROJ0.
An interview with John Yandura and Ken Foster about their experience surviving a crash with another B-17 which cut off the tail of their plane (Foster was in the tail!) is available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYxXxEGVxBo.
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/ .
Miscellaneous Videos on Escape and Evasion
- A retracing of an airman’s evasion of capture thanks to the help of the Resistance is available at Richard Garrity RCAF Escape and Evasion 1944.
- For an Australian documentary, “Comete Visit to Perth”, about Comete Line member Antoine Dumon, known as “Nadine”, click here. Note that when Nadine refers to “customers”, she means Customs personnel.
- For a documentary about DeDee, there is now “The Girl Behind the Comet Line, Andrée de Jongh”. To view it, click here.
WWII Escape and Evasion Movies
To view the page on this website on WWII Escape and Evasion movies, click here.