Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0592
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T3856 07-07-44 B-17 Flying Fortress
MilRank First Name(s) Name
Sgt. John Alexanian
Milregnr. Nationality Born
12152160 American 7 Jan 1924
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 11 Sep 44 Spa, Belgium
Evader Story
						Sgt. John Alexanian was the radio operator of B-17 42-31189 ‘Paragon’ that sustained flak damage over the target area on July 7, 1944. Returning over the Netherlands another engine failed and it became obvious that they could not make it to England. Approaching the Noordoostpolder, an area reclaimed from the IJsselmeer, the pilot gave the order to bail out. Alexanian landed in the reed beds of this area and after disposing of his gear, met some of his fellow crewmembers. The crew’s descent was observed from Emmeloord by Jacob Muller, one of the directors of the Kingma-Muller building company. This company built farms and houses in the Noordoostpolder. Muller walked to his car and having noted where the airmen descended, drove in that direction.

Having parked his car near where he expected to find the crew, Muller entered the reed beds. After some hours searching, he came upon one crew member of the 'Paragon'. Muller didn’t speak English but indicated that he had seen nine parachutes and together with the American searched on. After a while and looking through Muller’s ‘illegal’ binoculars, the American spotted four fellow crewmembers. They were picked up. Muller then took the five airmen to one of the farms under construction and from there to near Emmeloord where the five were hidden in a reed bed. Muller then arranged for civilian working clothes and one of his foreman was sent off to collect the five. They were taken to the ferry at the Lemstervaart and while underway, a sixth crewmember had joined them. At the ferry, the men changed their clothing and then with two cars, all six Americans were brought to Muller’s house. Later that day, the Americans were collected by the resistance and taken to Vollenhove where they went in hiding at several addresses. Alexanian, T/Sgt. Phil Cimino (E0595) and S/Sgt. Bill Campbell (E0594) stayed together at one address. According to another source Alexanian transferred to the house of Evert van der Linde at Moespot A39 in Vollenhove, where he joined 2/Lt. Max Weinstein (E0225).

The next day, the three airmen (Alexanian, Cimino and Campbell) were brought to Meppel where they were put on the train to ‘s Hertogenbosch. From the station, they were taken to hiding addresses in the area near Bakel, Venray and Deurne. One of the families they stayed with, was the Manders family in Bakel. Next, they left for the southern part of the province of Limburg, crossing the Dutch-Belgian border on August 11 and hiding in the village of Baroumme. Unlike Cimino and Campbell, Alexanian didn’t join the the Belgian resistance in the period he was hiding there. He was liberated by advancing US troops on September 11, 1944.'

(It's unclear if Alexanian was born on 7 Jan 1924 or 7 Nov 1923)						
* National Archives, Washington, EE-2137 and EE-2140
* National Archives, Washington, Helper Files, NAID: 286702526