Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0387
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T3519 08-03-44 B-24 Liberator
MilRank First Name(s) Name
S/Sgt. Odell Hooper
Milregnr. Nationality Born
18216914 American Hastings, Oklahoma, USA, 18 Mar 1923
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
No EVD-POW 13 Jul 44 Antwerp, Belgium -
Evader Story
						S/Sgt. Odell Hooper was the engineer of B-24 Liberator 42-52175 ‘Portland Anne’ that made a crewless belly landing at Den Oosterhuis, northeast of Balkbrug, on March 6, 1944. All 10 crew members bailed out and Hooper landed in a ditch at the Ommerschans, south of Balkbrug. He hid himself until the evening and then found a haystack in which he rested for the night. The next day he accosted the farmer who then hid Hooper in a nearby forest for two days. Casper Hendrik Oldrigs then brought the American to Dr. Jacobus Johannes te Rae at the Kerkplein 22 in Dalfsen where he stayed for five days. He then moved to the house of police constable Gerrit-Jan van Toorn at the Pronsenstraat 23a in Dalfsen where he stayed for 24 days. Next, he went to Frederick Wilhelm ten Broeke at the Zwolseweg 46 in Dalfsen where he stayed for one night. The following day, Ten Broeke and Van Toorn brought Hooper with a car of the local fire brigade to Jan Hendrik Seigers at the Wolfskuil 1 in Ommen where he joined T/Sgt. C.F. Leone (E0331), engineer of B-24 42-7567 'Wacky Donald'.

On April 28, they were picked up by a certain Tony Brons from Amsterdam. This was probably Jacob Pieter Bons who took both airmen by train to Amsterdam where they were brought to the house of the leader of Group 'Carl', Joop Meeuwis who lived at the Paramaribostraat 137-I, Amsterdam. The same day they were joined by two crewmembers of B-24 42-52587 ‘Shoo Shoo Baby’, co-pilot 2/Lt. Billy B. Boyer (E0409) and tail gunner S/Sgt. Charles P. Miller (E0412). At this address they also met Lt.Col. David Alford (E0284), who had just arrived from Vorden via Zwolle and next went in hiding at the address of the Goedkoop family.

While in the Dutch capital, Hooper, Leone, Boyer and Miller stayed at several addresses. Hooper, Boyer and Miller for instance, hid for four days in the house of Mary Lipp-van Winkel in Haarlemmermeerstraat 116 in Amsterdam and, together with Leone, they stayed for one night in the house of their guide to Zwolle, Jaap Bons, at the Witte de Withstraat 82-I in Amsterdam. At a certain moment, Hendrik van Cleef took the four Americans by train to Gerrit van der Born, aka ‘Tony’, in Amersfoort but due to unknown circumstances van Cleef took them back to Amsterdam. On May 24, 1944, the four men split up with Boyer and Miller travelling by train to Veghel and then onwards to the so called Pyama House of the Otten family at Kerkstraat 6 in Erp.

Hooper and Leone stayed a bit longer in Amsterdam but on June 6, also left by train for Veghel. They were escorted by Van der Heyden and van Cleef as well and all four cycled then, accompanied by a member of the Otten family, to the Pyama House of the Otten family at Erp. The next day, Van der Heyden and Van Cleef returned to Amsterdam while the airmen cycled, escorted by Antoinette and Harrie Otten, to Dinther. Here Hooper and Leone were taken over by Cor van Laanen who brought the Americans to the van Roy family at the Molendijk 17 in Schijndel. After ten days at this address, the airmen were brought by Bim van der Klei to Piet Felix, a member of the resistance Groep 'Andre'. He took both Americans to the house of the widow Adriana Wagemakers-Loonen in Kaatsheuvel. After fourteen days, Felix brought the men across the Dutch/Belgium border. Hooper and Leone made it to Antwerp but were arrested there on July 13, 1944 and Hooper spent the rest of the war in Stalag Luft 4 Gross Tychow.

Odell Hooper passed away on December 9, 2020.						
* H.B. van Helden, De lijst van Haeck. Een overzicht van de hulpverlening aan geallieerde bemanningsleden en ontsnapte krijgsgevangenen tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog (Hardenberg 2017), page 263
* Frans Govers, Pyama-House. Ontdekkingsreis door het uitgebreide netwerk van de pilotenhulp tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog: 1943-1944 (Uden 1992), page 87-88
* Oorlogsmuseum Overloon, Boekje Piet Felix, Groep André
* NIMH, The Hague, List 'Ondergedoken piloten te Erp (Fam. Otten)'