Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0340
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T3496 06-03-44 B-17 Flying Fortress
MilRank First Name(s) Name
T/Sgt. Marion Gillmor
Milregnr. Nationality Born
12198200 American
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
No EVD-POW 2 Jan 1945 Linne -
Evader Story
						T/Sgt. Marion Gillmor was the of B-17 Flying Fortress 42-31299 'Junior'. During a raid on Berlin the bomber was shot down by German fighters and crashed northeast of Hoogersmilde. The whole crew survived. Four of them managed to stay out of the hands of the Germans  for some time. Eventually only one, managed to evade capture. The whole crew bailed out of the crippled bomber  near Hijken/Oranje. Three of them, including Gillmor, landed near the farm of Tjeerd van der Kooy at the Vorrelveenscheweg at Beilervaart. The spouse of Tjeerd, Jantje van der Kooy-Pekel, was home alone when the three airmen descended at their parachutes. She went out and first found an injured airman. This was 2/Lt. R.P. Allman, the bombardier. He was he was entangled in the wires of his parachute. Kooy-Pekel started cutting the wires with a knife to free him. She then took the 'pilot' to the farm. Allman had been shot through his right hand shortly before arriving over the target. Van der Kooy-Pekel went out again and found another airman in the field behind the farm, T/Sgt. Gillmor. She took him also back to the farm. At that time Tjeerd van der Kooy arrived home and he also had picked up an airman. This was 2/Lt. E.A. Skinner (E0343), the navigator. While Gillmor and Skinner received a meal, Jantje van der Kooy-Pekel treated and washed the wound of Allman. The couple also made a temporary bed in the kitchen so he could rest a bit. Meanwhile a local doctor was asked to examine his hand. It was so badly wounded, that Allman had to go to a hospital because he already lost a lot a blood. Van der Kooy-Pekel ripped a sheet into pieces to bandage the hand with it. Eventually Allman was handed over to the Germans and became a PoW. At a later moment his hand had to be amputated. Van der Kooy wrote shortly the war: 'We regretted that the wounded man had to be handed over to the Germans, but there was simply no other way.' 

Because the Germans would pick up Allman at the farm of Van der Kooy, it was likely that they would also search in the immediate neighborhood. Skinner and Gillmor therefore had to leave the farmhouse of Van der Kooy as soon as possible. Van der Kooy asked Lambertus Zwanenburg (Prins Hendrikstraat 11 at Beilen), a colleague farmer at Beilervaart and who had already had helped allied pilots, to assist (he would be executed by the Germans at concentration camp Westerbork on 19 October 1944). He agreed. They hid Skinner in some bushes in a field, while Gillmor was hidden at a nearby farm. The Germans visited also this farm to look for downed airmen, but Gillmor, who was moved to the barn of the farmhouse, wasn't found. After nightfall, when the Germans had moved out of the area, they moved Gillmor and Skinner to Zwanenburg his farmhouse. The two Americans remained for about  fourteen days with the Zwanenburg family (until 20 March 1944). Zwanenburg was in contact with the resistance in Hoogeveen, which was led by the cousins Johannes and Albert van Aalderen. They were prepared to take over the two Americans. Nicolaus Gerhardus Vietor (Julianastraat 12 at Beilen), a policeman from Beilen, brought Gillmor and Skinner to Hoogeveen and delivered them to the house of Gerardus Lambertus Hendriksen at Blankenslaan 61. Here they received a fake identity papers. After a five day stay, Hilda Dekker (Hoofdstraat 160 at Hoogeveen) escorted the two on 25 March 1944 from Hoogeveen by train to Arnhem. At the station of Arnhem the two airmen were handed over to Henri Anton Engelbert Burgers (Jansbinnensingel 23 at Arnhem), who himself was arrested in May 1944 and died in Oranienburg shortly before the end of the war, in February 1945. It's unknown if the two airmen hid in Arhem for a short while, before H. Martens from Huissen escorted them by train from Arnhem to Roermond. From there it went to the house of family Joseph Simmelink at Dorpsstraat 19 in nearby Nunhem. After a one day stay two daughters of this large family (man, wife and ten children) brought Gillmor and Skinner on foot to Heythuizen. Via family M. Gubbels at Dorpsstraat 124 at Heythuizen they were handed over to Ed van Wegberg (Dorp 83 at Heyhuizen) who at his turn handed them over to Gerard H. Roumen at Dorpsstraat 65 at Haelen. It must be on the same day or shortly after that the two moved on 27 March they moved to ‘De Bedelaer’ estate near Haelen. Here they came in the hands of Mrs. M.E. Hooyer-Dubois. They remained here until 4 April. On this date the two and another airman, S/Sgt. Roy A. Cheek (E0311) moved to Heythuijzen. Cheek: 'The other two were taken to one house, and I to another, where I stayed about six weeks. Around the beginning of May Cheek moved back to 'his' estate at Horn. Here he met Gillmor again. According to the Helper File of Mrs. M.E. Hooyer-Dubois, Gillmor indeed returned to the estate between between 17 May and 24 May. Skinner got separated and went another way. 

Gillmor, Cheek, T/Sgt. John Peter Cvitkovich (E0316) and three RAF airmen, moved a few days later from the estate to Roermond. It was planned that they would be taken by car from there to Maastricht, but the Germans had seized the car so they remained in Roermond. They would stay here for several months. Cheek and Gillmor hid in the period 4 August until 31 December in the house of family A. Reuten at Spoorlaan 15. Only on this date, 31 December 1944, the underground moved Cheek, Gillmor, Cvitkovich and at least one of the RAF airmen to Linne. The three Americans, a Dutchman and Sgt. Frederick Ernest Woods (E0453) were supposed to cross the Meuse River from here. On their way to the river they ran into an German patrol. The group scattered. Cvitkovich managed to cross the river later that same night. Cheek, Gillmor and Woods hid themselves in an 'old deserted building nearby for two days'. They suffered from the cold and were hungry. According to Cheek's Evasion Report Gillmor and Woods 'got sick of it' and went down towards Linne in search of food. Cheek decided to stay and wait. He also eventually managed to reach liberated territory. Gillmor and Woods ran into a German patrol and were captured near Linne on 2 January 1945. Cheek decided to stay and wait. On 3 January a Dutch policeman found him an brought food and drinks. That same night he managed to cross the river with others

* National Archives, Washington, Helper Files, NAID: 286702288 - NAID: 286721498 - NAID: 286715265 - NAID: 286659760 - NAID: 286696240 - NAID: 286696223 - NAID: 286647516 - NAID: 286643204 - NAID: 286688682 - NAID: 286712011 - NAID: 286661987 - NAID: 286682986 - NAID: 286682972 - NAID: 286682965