Date: 1944 Mar 08/08 A/C Type: B-24 H  Liberator SN: 42-52175 Code: A/C Nickname: Portland Anne
 File: 679 Airforce: USAAF Sqn/Unit: 453 BG - 732 BS Mission/Raid: VFK ball bearing plant Erkner, Berlin
1 Pilot 1Lt. Everett G. Ehrman 9 RWG S/Sgt Bon. E. Boswell
2 Co-pilot 2Lt. William H. Hammond 10 TG S/Sgt Micheal Kopcza
3 Nav. 2Lt. Marlowe B. Olson   11    
4 B 2Lt.  Walter H. Kendall 12    
5 E S/Sgt. Odell Hooper 13    
6 LWG S/Sgt. Paul H. Mosely 14    
7 RO S/Sgt Donald E. Anderson    POW, broken ankle 15    
8 BTG S/Sgt Morgan E. Hartman    POW in Ommen 16                    

MACR: On approach to Berlin with Celle in sight, Lt. Ehrman's aircraft made a 180° turn with No. 1 engine feathered and No. 3 engine smoking. On 1000 meter altitude all ten men crew jumped over Balkbrug (NE of Zwolle), Ehrman jumping last. Two men POW same day, the other eight evaded and got far in Belgium and France, but were captured in the end (POW).

This is an interesting crew, because the eight evaders used most of the escape lines available at that moment in The Netherlands and Belgium. The empty plane slided in a meadow at Balkbrug/Den Oosterhuis. The Germans were fast present and reported that they had the B-24 number 42-52175 'Paula' of Bomb Group 'Julius'. Near the aircraft only Sgt. Donald E. Anderson was arrested (POW), he could not walk because of a broken ankle. The search for the others started, but only one man was caught a few miles to the South in Ommen. This was Sgt. Morgan Hartman (POW).

Four men were assembled by the resistance from different addresses and brought together at the safe house of the very brave Mr. Kingma in Vollenhove. These were co-pilot 2Lt. Willam H. Hammond, navigator 2Lt. Marlowe B. Olson, gunners Sgt. Paul H. Moseley and Michael Kopcza. Their names are on the Kingma-list (below). The normal route from Kingma further down the escape-line would be to Meppel, in the care of resistance leader Peter van den Hurk (died 2014), but their names are not on his list. This suggest travel with guides by train via Kampen or Zwolle, or over the Lake via Urk to Enkhuizen and then by train to Amsterdam. The four were passed to resistance group 'André' in Sprang-Capelle, north of Breda and Tilburg. Via Ulvenhout and Wernhout on the Dutch-Belgium border, they were guided to Antwerp, but fell in the hands there of traitors and the German SD (POW). This was around 3 August 1944 after five months underground. The start of the famous Comete-line in Brussels was not reached.

Read more on the Kingma-list & photos on B-24 'Portland Anne' on website of Teun PATS:
When on his site allow 10 seconds for loading (big site). Then CTRL + F and enter 'Kingma' in the search field and enter.
On above website is a link on the Kingma-list at the names of Hammond, Olson, Moseley and Kopcza that leads to file B-24  42-52175 'Portland Anne'. 


Sgt. Odell Hooper
S/Sgt. Odell Hooper first and second hide was in Dalfsen and Ommen. He was guided by train to Amsterdam and eventually brought by pilot helpers Willy van der Heyden and Hendrik (Henk) van Cleeff to a train station in Brabant. Here he was in hiding with the Otten family in village Erp. Via group 'André' in Sprang-Capelle, Hooper was passed to Antwerp but was arrested there 13 July 1944 (POW).

Pilot 1Lt. Everett G. Ehrman and T/Sgt. Bon E. Boswell Jr.
On Sgt. Boswell is known he was in the house of Dutch policeman Gelius Ottens in Amersfoort. Both Boswell and Ehrman must have traveled by train (under guide) to Helmond-Deurne or Venlo, because they are both on the list of the famous pilot-helping farm 'De Zwarte Plak' (Poels family) in hamlet America near Sevenum and Horst. Sgt. Boswell was later arrested in northern Belgium (POW), he did not reach Brussels. Pilot Ehrman got with help of the resistance into the city of Liège (Luik) and stayed in hiding there for weeks. There was talking about a escape route to Switzerland. However, guide "Joseph" in Liège was a traitor. On 27 May there was a Gestapo-led raid in Liège that rounded up about 15 airmen in hiding, Lt. Ehrman was one of them and was captured (POW).   

Bomb aimer 2Lt. Walter H. Kendall.
A number of airmen of the Portland Anne and other airmen that came down in the March 6 and March 8 raids on Berlin, moved from their parachute position into south-/southwestern direction. From direction Balkbrug, Dalfsen, Ommen, Hardenberg, Hellendoorn, Nijverdal and Hengelo. A number of them found refuse in Deventer. Here was Walter Kendell in a safehouse in company of three other Americans: Milton Stern, Maurice Hargrove and P-47 pilot John Zolner. The Dutch resistance brought them to the Deventer train station, spliting them up in groups of two. The guide walked 30 meters ahead of them and each team took different carriages. In Echt, north of Maastricht, they got out and continued by car to Maastricht. In the night of 12 March, already four days after their bail out, they crossed the Maas river in a small rowing boat into Belgium. This was because the bridges were guarded by German soldiers.

On the other side of the river, six days were spent on a farm. In that farm were five crew members of Milton Stern: Barrows, Bull, Cassody, Estep and Warren (B-17 42-38029).

On the 18th of March the group was led into the Belgian town of Hasselt and stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Biernaux, agents of the Comete escape line. Guide Olympus Doby escorted the men to Liège (Luik). In Liège awere also George Wedd and Floyd Franchini. They were housed in pairs and experienced a bomb-raid on the town by American bombers. In April 1944, Walter Kendall was set on the train towards Switzerland. He got arrested (POW) on 22 April 1944, 215 miles SE of Paris in the French town of Montebeliard near the Swiss border, not far from Basel and Bern. 

The arrest of Walter Kendall demonstrates the line towards Switzerland had problems. Also transfer to Brussels (the start point of the Comete-line) was slow. The big Milton Stern-group got stuck in Liège. On the 27th of May 1944, the Germans entered violently their safe-houses. The Americans became POW and were held at first in the prison of Liège. They witnessed that their Belgian helpers were executed on the courtyard on July 15, 1944. In this prison, Milton Stern met Lt. Ehrman, the pilot of the Portland Anne. Stern mentioned to Ehrman, that his bomb aimer Kendall left Liège five weeks before.

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)