AFEES EVADE! dvd; Interviews

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/.

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:

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.

Unused Interviews

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:

Additional Unedited Interviews With Multiple Evaders and Helpers Added April 2018

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:

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.

4 thoughts on “AFEES EVADE! dvd; Interviews

  1. Would you be interested in including a link to “The Friends of the Comet Line” – an association from France’s Basque Country with the aim of commemorating the activities of the Comet Line in the Pays Basque.
    Our site is bi-lingual – French and English – and it’s updated regularly.

  2. Dear Mr Bolinger,
    I came across one of your Youtube videos (EVADE THE RALPH PATTON STORY) thanks to a relative, and since I am an English to French translator, my family wanted me to translate it non officially (I am a descendant of one of the French helpers mentioned in this video, so it was important to them that they understood the content of this video).
    Would you be interested in the transcript and the translation I made of this video?

    1. Dear Ms. Bossé,

      Thank you for your offer. I very much would like to have a copy of the transcript and the translation. With your permission I would like to post both of them on the AFEES website.
      Best wishes,
      Bruce Bolinger

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