Date: 1944 Mar 23/23 A/C Type: B-24 H  Liberator SN: 42-52587 Code: A/C Nickname: Shoo Shoo Baby
 File: 343 Airforce: USAAF Sqn/Unit: 466 BG - 785 BS Mission/Raid: Achmer Airfield
1 Pilot 2Lt. Robert L. Garrett   evd. Killed in Belgium 9 RWG S/Sgt Milton E. Thompson     KIA
2 Co-pilot 2Lt. Billy B. Boyer        evd, later POW 10 TG S/Sgt Charles P. Miller       evd, later POW
3 Nav. 2Lt. Roy D. Breukelman     KIA 11    
4 B 2Lt. Gordon R. Russell Jr    KIA 12    
5 E T/Sgt John J. Laurich      KIA 13    
6 RO T/Sgt Howard B. King       evd. 14    
7 BTG S/Sgt James R. Eaton       KIA 15    
8 LWG S/Sgt Orville S. Good       KIA 16                    

Opp. Achmer Airfield. Collided with other B-24 (41-29466, Lt. Griffin). Crashed in Lake Boswiede (Boschweide) near Vollenhove.


Collided high in the air with B-24H 41-29466, Lt. Donald G. Griffin, also 466BG-785 BS.

Of Lt. Garrett's B-24, four men parachuted out and survived. At least three of them were rescued by a rowing boat. Six men were killed, buried in Vollenhove.

The four on the run were pilot 2Lt. Robert Garrett, co-pilot Billy B. Boyer, radio operator Sgt. Howard King and tail gunner Sgt. Charles P. Miller.
Dutch resistance took them to the home of Mr. Marten Kingma in Vollenhove, a famous pilot helper. They are on his list (see below).

The standard route from Vollenhove to the South, was transfer to pilot helper Mr. Peter van den Hurk in Meppel (Medal of Freedom in gold). However, Garrett, Boyer, King and Miller are not on his list, but the list is not complete. There is a small chance, they went via Urk and on the ferry across the Lake to Enkhuizen to get to Amsterdam. On Lt. Boyer and Sgt. Miller is known they were in Amsterdam, which was often the next step from Meppel. Young female guides (Mrs. Joke Folmer) led the men from Meppel to Amsterdam by train via Amersfoort with false papers that Van den Hurk provided. From Amsterdam (helpers Carl Meewis, Doctor Wim van der Heijden, Henk van Cleef) the men went by train south in direction Eindhoven, Veghel and Helmond.

2Lt. Billy B. Boyer and Sgt. Charles Miller were a team and were in hiding at the Otten-family in Erp near Veghel from 24 May until 5 June 1944 (fotos of them in the Otten photo album). From there they went to Dinter (Mr. Cornelius van Laanen) and Schijndel and passed the Belgian border under Breda and Tilburg (Group André) to get to Antwerp. While passing the border an evading fighter pilot was added the group. He also came from Vollenhove (see list no. 3 "H.B. White") and had followed the same escape route. This was 2Lt. Horace B. White of P-51B 43-12264. But in Antwerp they walked into a German trap and were arrested in July/August 1944 (POW). They did not make it to the start of the famous Comete escape line in Brussels.

Pilot Lt. Robert L. Garrett and Sgt. Howard King were in hiding in village America, not far from Erp. Their safehouse was famous farm 'De Zwarte Plak', Poels family (Netherlands). One of the routes from there was to Maastricht and then the Belgian city Liège (Luik). From here it was difficult to get to Brussels and the start of the Comete line. The men got stuck, this because German secret police activity in Liège disrupted the escape lines. Many airmen were arrested in Liège May 1944, but Garrett and King were not. After D-Day (6 June 1944), further travel south became even more dangerous and the evaders had to stay put until the frontline had reached Liège. This was already the case after three months. Sgt. King was liberated in Liège by the US Army around 6 September 1944.

Death of pilot 2Lt. Robert Garrett.
Lt. Robert L. Garrett was in hiding on a farm just east of Liège in village Quene-du-Bois. Just before the American Army arrived (7th Sept 1944), he was in an orchard in farmers clothes when a passing vehicle with retreating SS-troops shot at him and killed him. The villagers knew Robert well and requested that Quene-du-Bois could become his final resting place, which was granted.


Sources/read more:

- Website Aomda on Lt. Garrett:

- The rescuer in the rowing boat kept co-pilot Boyer's life jacket (Mae-West). In 2012, grandson Nathan Boyer received it back.
   Website Henk van Heerde:


- Site Teun PATS, more on 42-52587. When on this (large) site allow 10 seconds to load and press CTRL + F, type 'Barney' for Sgt. Howard Barney King.

- Our file on cemetery Vollenhove and the KIA crew of 42-52587:

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