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Escape and Evasion Accounts

Pictured shortly after the raid (l to r) are Lt Herb Macia, Lt Jack Sims, Sgt Jacob Eierman, and Maj John Hilger alongside Chinese villagers who risked their lives to help them.  It is estimated that Japanese forces executed as many as 250,000 Chinese in retaliation for the raid and subsequent Chinese assistance to the Raiders.(U.S. Air Force photo)

Pictured shortly after the raid (l to r) are Lt Herb Macia, Lt Jack Sims, Sgt Jacob Eierman, and Maj John Hilger alongside Chinese villagers who risked their lives to help them. It is estimated that Japanese forces executed as many as 250,000 Chinese in retaliation for the raid and subsequent Chinese assistance to the Raiders.(U.S. Air Force photo)

Flight Officer Charles Yeager. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Flight Officer Charles Yeager. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Fw 190 panel drawing by drawn by 2nd Lt. Royal Frey. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Fw 190 panel drawing by drawn by 2nd Lt. Royal Frey. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Doolittle Raiders
After bombing Japan on April 18, 1942, all but one of the sixteen B-25 Doolittle Raid crews crashed or bailed out in China (The remaining crew landed in the USSR, and they successfully escaped internment in 1943). Thanks to the generous help of the Chinese people, 64 of the 75 crewmembers evaded capture.

Flight Officer Charles Yeager
On March 5, 1944, a German Fw 190 pilot shot down and wounded Flight Officer (FO) Yeager fifty miles east of Bordeaux, France. French citizens quickly grabbed the downed fighter pilot, clothed him in a civilian suit, and hid him in a barn. With the assistance of the French escape network, twenty-three days and 100 miles later FO Yeager safely crossed the Spanish border.

Flight Officer Yeager returned to his unit and shot down 10 1/2 more German aircraft before the end of the war (the half resulted from a shared victory).

Capt. Bruce Carr
While evading after being shot down over Austria, Capt. Bruce Carr came across a German Fw 190 fighter on an airfield. Although he was completely unfamiliar with the aircraft and could not read the instrument panel, he started up the engine and flew the fighter back to his home airfield. 

Some USAAF POWs, hoping to match Carr's feat, drew up instrument panels and flight instructions like this one, drawn by 2nd Lt. Royal Frey. 

Click here to return to Winged Boot: Escape and Evasion in World War II.

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