How the Dutch resistance saved Allied crews

Discussion in '466th BG - Attlebridge' started by Airwar, May 21, 2017.

  1. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    We are probably running a bit off topic. Still unclear if Col. Shumake served in the PTO or remained in Europe, but with certainty he returned to Europe postwar. There are reports of him participating in the Berlin Airlift (1948). Also attached is an article where he is in command of a USAF U. S. citizens evaluation effort from Palestine during the Israel war for independence also occurring during 1948.

    Attached Files:

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  2. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    Thanks for the additional information. He did get around.

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  3. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member


    This late war Lt Stearns evading in Holland may not be the best example for Dutch evading lines south thru the Netherlands to Belgium and on to Spain. Everything changed regarding evading routes/lines after the Normandy invasion, further complicated by the failed Market Garden operation in late September 1944. This study of Lt Stearns evading is more a hide and seek experience avoiding the Nazi forces until the allied advance would permit escape, rather than escape to the south thru to Spain. Maybe we can try this again with another AAF pilot or crew member who evaded earlier, hopefully from the North of the Netherlands thru the resistance chain to Spain, and Gibraltar.


    2nd Lt Corroll A Stearns, Jr., ASN: O-812505, 382nd FS, 363rd FG, 9th AF, Flying P-51B-15-NA-42-106887. Hit by AAA while strafing airfield at Quackenbruck, Germany damaging his cooling system, he headed home but overheating caused him to make a wheels-up belly landing at Putten, Netherlands May 30, 1944 (Looks like Lt Stearns crash-landed about 9.5 km NE of your home in Nijkerk). Stearns survived and was seen running to a wooded area by wing-man 1st Lt Marvin A Thompson.

    MACR 5543 5 pages for those with fold3 access.
    E & E Report 2870 (Odd this report states Lt Stearns was flying a P-47, obviously in error)
    Corroll Adam Stearns, Findagrave Memorial

    According to the MACR Lt Stearns belly landed at 1305 hrs. and according to the E&E report was evading from 30 May 1944 to 14 March 1945, 9 Months and 14 days.

    It should be considered that Lt Stearns crash landed in Holland 7 days prior to the Allied D-Day invasion at Normandy. This in itself likely terminated the normal evading route thru Belgium, France and Spain. The following is a chronological record of Dutch towns who cared for Lt Stearns while evading the Nazis with incredible help from the Dutch Resistance Forces, and Civilians starting with the crash location.

    (1) Putten (Z 5509)
    (2) Voorthuizen (Z 5501)
    (3) Doornspijk (Z 6926)
    (4) Zwolle (Z 8936)
    (5) Vierhouten (Z 7017)
    (6) Pas Op (No coord., secret camp in forest 4 km NE of Vierhouten)
    (7) Olderbroek (Z 7623)
    (8) Epe (Z 8119)
    (9) Otteloo (E 6791)
    (10) Winterhuis (No coord.) Not included on GEarth map
    (11) De Valk (E5894)
    (12) Zevenhuizen (Z 3904)
    (13) Scherpenzeel (E 5889)
    (14) Leersum (E 4282)
    (15) Amerongen (E 4480)
    (16) T’Waal (E2181)
    (17) Schoonhoven (E 0275)
    (18) Grootammers (D 9972)
    (19) Sliedrecht (D 9962)
    (20) Lage-Zwaluwe (D 9050) Contact with British ground forces.
    (21) Tilburg

    This is not a very pretty map but captures all the points in the Netherlands where Lt. Stearns (and other allied evaders) where hidden away until repatriation could be accomplished with the Allied advance north through the Netherlands.
    2nd Lt Corroll A Stearns, Jr., Dutch edading route.jpg

    Allied battle lines map 15 March 1945.
    15 March 1945 WW2BattlefrontAtlas.jpg
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  4. Milos

    Milos Member

    Is there any estimate how many airmen evaded through Netherlands?
    If possible - how much of them fell in Netherlands, and how much were in transit from Belgium and other countries.
  5. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    Is it possible that he could , through the underground, get word back to his base informing them that he was alive etc? They in turn could notify his family. Nine months is a long time for family to live with a MIA Report.
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