Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0635
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T3931 15-08-44 B-24 Liberator
MilRank First Name(s) Name
Sgt. William Harold Rye
Milregnr. Nationality Born
35679773 American North Little Rock, Arizona, USA, 24 Mar 1921
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 13 Apr 45 Steenwijk -
Evader Story
						Sgt. William Harold (Bill) Rye was the right waist gunner 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. Rye managed to bail out and landed in a field at the Leiweg near Giethoorn. He started walking in southerly direction towards Giethoorn and eventually made contact with the resistance. He eventually ended up in the house of Willem Hol at Oosterhoek 81 in Steenwijkerwold. Here he met another member of 466 Bomb Group, but from a different aircraft: T/Sgt. Fred J. Gerritz (E0636). Rye and Gerritz would remain in hiding with the family Hol until the liberation of the Steenwijk area by Canadian troops on 13 April 1945.

William Harold Rye passed away on 5 January 2012 at the age of 90. He is buried at Butler County Memorial Park, Trenton, Butler County, Ohio, USA.

* National Archives, Washington, EE-2974 and 2973.