Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0633
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T3931 15-08-44 B-24 Liberator
MilRank First Name(s) Name
2/Lt. Robert W. Harrington
Milregnr. Nationality Born
O-817669 American Newton, Iowa, USA, 17 Nov 1920
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 13 Apr 45 Steenwijk -
Evader Story
						2/Lt. Robert W. (Bob) Harrington was the pilot of B-24 Liberator 41-28932 ‘Ramblin Wreck I’. The bomber was shot down by German fighters on the return flight from a bombing mission to Vechta airfield. Harrington managed to bail out and landed west of Steenwijk during which he hurt his ankle. He 'was given help immediately upon reaching the ground' by the farmer 'Teunis Blum' and his brother. They diposed Harrington's parachute, harness, may west and flying jacket. They also contacted the policeman Albertus van Olphen of Rozenstraat 3 in Steenwijk (nowadays a street in Steenwijk is named after him). Van Olphen was a member of the resistance and supplied Harrington with civilian clothes and took the American - still on 15 August - to the house of his brother-in-law Jan Kiezenbrink at Onnastraat 37 in Steenwijk. Probably in this house he also met the nose gunner, Sgt. William K. Meyer (E0634) and the bombardier, Robert G. 2/Lt. Borst (E0632). Because it was too risky to keep the three together, Borst and Meyer moved out the same day. Harrington remained in the house of Kiezenbrink until 1 January 1945. On this day he moved to another hiding place, but still in the same street: the house of G.M.A. Diemont at Onnastraat 5 in Steenwijk. Harrington was liberated here by Canadian troops on 13 April 1945.

Robert W. Harrington passed away on 9 October 2009. He is buried at Newton Union Cemetery, Newton, Jasper County, Iowa, USA.

* Ab A. Jansen, Sporen aan de hemel. Kroniek van een luchtoorlog (Baarn 1980), page 300-302
* National Archives, Washington, EE-2964