Jack Luehrs was a Radio Operator in the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones'. Orginally believed to have been Killed in Action (KIA), as he was the last to jump from the plane and nothing was heard about him for weeks after the mission. Jack Luehrs landed in an apple tree near Pont-de-l'Arche (Eure Department) France. Bleeding from a wound under the left eye, Luehrs declined the offer of a French villager to have his wound tended by a doctor and went into hiding in a woods, seeing his aircraft burning about 1km away. Helped afterwards by French citizens who gave him civilian clothes, food and provided him with false ID papers, he was handed over to an evasion organization. Led to Paris by train, he stayed in an apartment there until 30 April, the date on which he was guided by train to Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, in the north of the country with the aim to evacuate him by boat to England. Led in a taxi to Etables-sur-Mer, Luehrs met his Right Waist gunner Allen Fitzgerald and other Allied airmen there. The plans to evacuate them by sea had to be changed due to the bad weather and the evaders were led to Tréveneuc where they stayed for two weeks in the house of Madame Cellarié. Finally, the plans to evacuate them by boat were abandoned and Luehrs and others were guided by train back to Paris on 31 May. The new plan was to send them to the South and neutral Spain. Luehrs and other evading Allied personnel then travelled by train to Bordeaux, and from there to Bayonne where they jumped on another train to Pau. From there, Luehrs and other evaders walked their way to Spain, crossing the border on 5 June around 06:00am. They reported to the Spanish Guardia Civil and were briefly detained, first in Isaba, then in Pampelona, arriving there by bus. After a few days, a delegate from the US Embassy arrived, gave them money and clothes and on the following day, they were released and spent 2 weeks in a local hotel. On 24 June, US Major Clark arrived to drive Luehrs and 4 other evaders to a place where they met 7 other evaders. Driven to Madrid on the 25th, they were ultimately led to Gibraltar. Jack Luehrs left Gibraltar in a C-47 on the 27th and landed in England on 28 June 1943. Put up in a London hotel, an American pub Dirty Dick's was nearby and he found 305th BG/ 364th BS crews there. He learned his parents had been notified he was killed in action. His Oregon homecoming a few months later was a happy one.
See the full story of Jack Luehrs' evasion at www.evasioncomete.org
Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Miles Cooley was Left Waist Gunner in the 305th Bomb Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. On board B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones' on the 4 April 1943 mission to the Renault works in Paris-Billancourt. Wounded in the plane by a Flak fragment. #42-5232 was...
Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Robert Fabec attended the Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colorado and graduated in 1939. He enlisted in the Air Corps in January 1942 and trained as a Bombardier. It was in that position that he flew on B-17 #42-5232 “Available Jones” of...
Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Allen Michael Fitzgerald (also mentioned as Michael Allen Fitzgerald) was a Right Waist gunner in the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones'. EVADED. Jumping right before Radio Operator...
Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
John Hollenbeck was Tail Gunner on B-17 # 42-5232 “Available Jones” of the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron on 4 April 1943 when it was shot down over France. Landing near Rouen, France, he was captured and became a Prisoner of War (POW)....
Military | Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones'. Prisoner of War (POW) at Stalag 7a at Moosburg and work camps.
Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Morris M. Jones was Pilot of B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones' of the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. Shot down 4 April 1943 in France.
Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Edward Logan was Co-Pilot of B-17 #42-5232 "Available Jones" of 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron, shot down on 4 April 1943. He landed in parachute near Vaudreuil, Eure Department, and was hidden at Villers-sur-le-Roule at the home of Georges...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Edward Mescher was a Ball Turret gunner in the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones'. Killed in Action (KIA).
Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
Homer Mohr was Navigator of B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones' of the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. Shot down 4 April 1943 in France. Landing near Rouen, France, he was captured and became a Prisoner of War (POW). Interned at Stalag Luft 3...
Units served with
The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Tulsa 18 October 1942; Presque Island 26 November 1942; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-E] Chelveston 13 December 1942. Missing in Action Paris-Billancourt Renault auto works on 4 April 1943. Pilot Morris M. Jones, Co-Pilot Edward T. Logan,...
4 April 1943
The Renault armament and motor works at Paris, France are the primary target of this mission. 97 B-17s are despached: 91BG (26); 303BG (23); 305BG (18); and 306BG (30). 85 of the 97 despatched are effective on the target. Fighter resistance is heavy...
Military site : airfield
Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...
||Oregon, United States
||12 December 1920
the son of Otto and Effie Luehrs
||Portland, Oregon, United States
||14 December 1941
as a Private in the Air Corps
||4 April 1943 – 26 June 1943
Helped in his evasion by French patriots and Résistance members
||Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon, United States
||Salem, Oregon, United States
||27 September 1991
||Ontario, Malheur County, Oregon, United States