|T2934||08-10-43||B-17 Flying Fortress|
|Returned Y/N||Evader Fate||Date Captured/Liberated||Place Captured/Liberated||Escape Line|
|Yes||EVD||25 Dec 43||Bristol, England||Smit-Van der Heijden Line - Comet Line|
2/Lt. Carl L Spicer was the navigator of B-17 42-30818 ‘Salvo Sal’ that due to severe battle damage crash landed just north of Lippenhuizen on 8 October 1943. Spicer bailed out in time and landed just outside the village of Schurega. On landing he became entangled in the parachute lines, but he managed to get out of his parachute. Although quite some men were working on the fields, no one offered any help. He took off his Mae West jacket, buried it and started walking through the fields. In the distance he noticed someone following him and he thought it was a German soldier. That person kept waving to him and then he recognized his Bombardier, 2nd Lieutenant Frank McGlinchey (E0149). Together they walked in a southerly direction and noticed an elderly farmer working in a field. He gestured to them to lie down and shortly afterwards, a car with to German soldiers passed them. Continuing their walk, they came upon the banks of the Tjonger river and followed it westward until they came at a bridge. A women cycled towards them there and when they made it clear they needed help, she told the airmen to wait there, and she would return with civilian clothing. Spicer and McGlinchey waited for about an hour and then decided to continue their walk. When the dawn arrived, they looked for a place to hide for the day. They left the road and crossed a field to a farm. There they sat down behind a hedge and waited if someone would show up that could help them. A man and a dog came out of the farm, the airmen approached him and asked for help. The farmer, Martinus Bakker, didn’t speak English but took Spicer and McGlinchey inside and his wife prepared breakfast for the hungry and thirsty airmen. Thereafter they were taken upstairs so they could get a decent sleep. Later that day, Bakker went to teacher Douwe Feenstra in Steggerda who was also member of the local resistance. Feenstra spoke English and he came with Bakker to the farm. When the Americans had woken up, they came down where Feenstra was waiting for them. He had a lengthy talk with the men to make sure they were genuine and then told them the resistance would help them. Furthermore, Feenstra thought it better that Spicer and McGlinchey stayed at his place, so they came with him when he returned home. On the evening of October 10, the airmen were collected by the resistance from Wolvega who had found a hiding address for them. Johnny Bosscha and Egbertus Woudstra arrived at Feenstra’s house around 22.00, bringing bicycles with them. The foursome cycled to Wolvega where Spicer and McGlinchey were taken to the reformed church. There they hid in the attic while the sexton, Jan van der Meer, looked after their well being. Pieter Wybenga, one of the key persons in the Frisian Resistance and who lived in Drachten, stayed in Wolvega at the time the airmen arrived there. He was informed about them and asked some members of his group to find appropriate hiding addresses for Spicer and McGlinchey in Drachten. But first Tiny Mulder, a courier for the resistance and fluent in English, had to interview the airmen. They told her about the mission and their plane, and they mentioned their captain, William McDonald (E0148). Tiny then told them she had spoken with him some hours earlier. In the meantime, Henk Metzlar had arranged separate hiding addresses for the airmen so they could be collected. Mrs. Mulder and the two airmen walked to the border of Wolvega where an old taxi was waiting for them, driven by Paulus Paulusma with Metzlar beside him. Their first stop was at the house of the parents of Miss Mulder where McGlinchey would go in hiding. He and miss Mulder got out of the taxi and here Spicer and McGlinchey were separated. The taxi then brought Spicer to his hiding address with the Family Siebren and Joukje van Velden just outside Drachten. Petronella Bollein visited Spicer there a few times bringing English books for him to read. 11 November was a busy day for the LO (LO: Landelijke Organisatie voor hulp aan onderduikers. National Organisation for help to Persons in hiding) in Drachten because six ‘pilots’ would leave there. George Lloyd (E0127), Arnold Livesey (E0142), Lloyd Logan (E0143) and Robert Patterson (E0159) left for The Hague via Leeuwarden. Carl Spicer would travel together with Canadian Flight Sergeant Frédéric-Charles Boulter (E0139). Boulter was the flight engineer of Lancaster LM345 that crashed near Haren, south of Groningen city. With Henk Metzlar at the wheel and courier Tiny Mulder beside him, Boulter was picked up at his hiding address In Drachten. Then they drove to Olterterp where Carl Spicer was collected at the Van Velden family. Their route was arranged by Klaas Maring (alias ‘Klazinga’) who ran his own resistance group in Drachten. The route ran from Drachten southward through the woods of the Veluwe to Brabant and then on to Belgium. While underway to the train station in Heerenveen, Tiny explained to Boulter and Spicer what to do in the train because she would not sit near them. They had to keep an eye on her green beret and leave the train when she did. In Zwolle both airmen and Mulder changed trains to Amersfoort where Mulder got out and Boulter and Spicer followed her. On the platform Joop Kruimel, who had visited both men before at their hiding addresses, waited for them to bring them to an address where they got something to eat and to drink and would meet their new guide. Mulder said farewell to them at the platform and left with Dirk and Nelly Eskens. For secrecies sake, she was not to know who the airmen’s new guide was. Their new guide was Willem Schmidt of the ‘Bravery-Line’ also known as ‘Fiat Libertas’. Schmidt took both men to his parents house in Zeist at the Boulevard 11. They stayed there for the night and the next day, Boulter and Spicer, guided by Schmidt, travelled to Tilburg. They crossed the station square there and entered hotel Mulders where Karst Smit and another Marechaussee were waiting for them. The airmen changed their civilian suits for a Marechaussee uniform. Next each man got into a sidecar of a motorcycle with sidecar and so they were driven to ‘the camp’ on the ‘Utrecht’ estate. The night was spend there in the chicken coop of farmer de Bruijn, together with some students in hiding. On 13 November the guides Willem Schmidt, Johannes Oudemans and Jan de Koning brought Boulter and Spicer to the Dutch-Belgian border. Oudemans and de Koning bid the airmen farewell where after Schmidt led them further into Belgium. Once in Belgium, the three men took the tram from Turnhout to Antwerpen and then the train to Brussels. Having arrived there, they went to their temporary hiding address in the 4 Rue Jules Lejeune in Elsene, Brussels. Élise Chabot and her daughter Charlotte Ambach, members of the EVA-Group, lived here. From this address Spicer and Boulter were taken by Charles Hoste to the house of Maurice Olders and Yvonne Pelering at 17 Rue des Tanneurs where they met 1st Lieutenant John Kilpatrick Justice (E0164). Justice had been the captain of B-17 ‘Pasadena Nena’ that crashed near Harskamp on October 10. On 15 November Spicer and Boulter were separated when Boulter left for another hiding address. A day later Hoste and Prosper Spilliaert took Spicer and Justice to Remacle Rouffart and Madeleine Lomba at the 51 Avenue Jules Malou in Etterbeek. On the 18th they moved to Cyprien Sacotte who was gendarme but also ran a small café at the 64 Rue Champ du Roi in Etterbeek. They returned to the 51 Avenue Jules Malou on the 24th. On November 26, Hoste and Spilliaert took both airmen to Mr. and Mrs. Depaye at the 20 Vieux Marché aux Grains in Brussels. While staying there, Soicer and Justice were visited by Gaston Matthys who finally handed the airmen over to Yvon Michiels of the Comet escape line. On 3 December Soicer and Justice left Brussels and took the train to France, guided by Jules Dricot (alias ‘Deltour’). At the French border they were handed over to Albert Mattens and joined by two other evaders, American 2nd Lieutenant Carl Smith, co-pilot on a B-17 that crashed near Montrouel-au-Bois on 17 August, and Archibald Mellor (E0180), pilot of a Mosquito that crashed near Wijster on October 20. They all stayed with Achille Dupont and his wife Germaine Hennebert at the 173 Rue Trieux del Croix in Saumoy-lez-Sivry for the night and then travelled to Paris on December 4. Having arrived safely, Spicer and Justice were taken to Raoul Touquet and Lucienne Prioul at the 16 Rue Henri Tariel in Issy-les-Moulineaux. They stayed there until December 13 and were then taken to the train station by Fernande Onimys-Phal (alias ‘The Lady in Black’). She introduced them to Marcelle Douard who would be their guide on the night-train to Bordeaux. On arrival there they were handed-over to Jean-François Nothomb who took Soicer and Justice by train to Dax together with Smith and Mellor. Here the four airmen were given bicycles and they cycled to the foothills of the Pyrenees with Denise Houget and Marcel Roger (alias Max). Having arrived at Sutar, the airmen were given a good meal with plenty of wine in the Larre Inn of Jeanne Mendiara and spend the night there. The next day, joined by Belgian escapee Georges Marchand, the group left again on bicycles until they came upon the river Nive at Larressore. The bikes were left here and the group crossed the river in a rowing boat. Then began the last stage of their journey to freedom which took four days. It was the 80th crossing of the Comet line and it was a tough crossing for the evaders because they got very little to eat underway. On the morning of the fourth day, they arrived in a small village in Spain and found a small hotel. They had a bath and a decent lunch and, in the evening, left by car to San Sebastian. After enjoying a gargantuan diner in a hotel, they stayed there for the night. The next day, a British consular car picked them up at the hotel and brought them to Madrid. Soicer and Justice left the city after a week and travelled by train to Gibraltar while Smith and Mellor stayed a while longer there. Soicer and Justice arrived in Gibraltar on December 24 and were interviewed there by Captain Zundel. Due to lack of accommodation, they were taken to the airfield directly, leaving in the evening on a C-47. They landed in Bristol on the morning of December 25 and then travelled by train to London. The airmen arrived quite late in the evening but the cook at the hotel where they had been taken to, managed to provide them with a proper Christmas meal. They were placed under house arrest until they were positively identified by Lieutenant Smucker of the US 100th BG. Next, they moved to a newly opened facility of American Intelligence where they were interviewed daily for some weeks. After some weeks Spicer was released and returned to the United States.
|* Ian Hawkins, Münster, the way it was, page 273-281
* Wolter Noordman, Schuilplaats de Veluwe, page 120-130
* Frans Govers, Pyama-House. page 42-44
* ‘Weerzien na 33 jaar met Amerikaanse vlieger in Drachten. Bij familie Van Velden' in: Leeuwarder Courant, 23 November 1976