|37554286||American||3 Jan 1922|
|Returned Y/N||Evader Fate||Date Captured/Liberated||Place Captured/Liberated||Escape Line|
|Yes||EVD||6 Apr 45||Ommen||-|
S/Sgt. William Aldred Hammer was the left waist gunner in B-24 Liberator 42-95138. On 11 September 1944 this aircraft took part in a bombing mission to the Krupp-Grusonwerke armaments industry at Magdeburg. About ten minutes before reaching the target, the crew was confronted with engine trouble. It was decided to return homeward with fighter cover of four P-51’s. While on the route back to England P-51 Mustang 'Betty Lee' (42-103749) was sucked in the propwash of the B-24 and crashed into the bomber's tail. The tail gunner and the Mustang pilot (2nd Lt. J.H. Lougheed) were both killed. After the collision the rest of the crew bailed out. Hammer landed ‘a short distance east of Ommen’. He left his parachute harness ‘in a tree’ and hid his may west ‘in a rabbit hole’. Hammer almost immediately started walking southward. At dusk he had reached a point at about three miles south of Ommen. Hammer spent the night in a sawmill. The next morning he contacted a the woman of the gamekeeper of the Eerde estate at Ommen. She contacted the owner, Philip Dirk baron van Pallandt van Eerde. He decided to hide Hammer in an underground dug out on his estate which was fitted with electric heating, radio and lights. Hammer was hidden het not alone. The brother-in-law of Van Pallandt, dr. G.H. Voorwijk, a geologist who was on the run for the Germans, kept him company and ‘kept up morale of S/Sgt. Hammer for entire period of evasion’. Hammer was liberated in Ommen on 6 April 1945 when a Canadian armored unit (Manitoba Dragons) overran the area.
|* National Archives, Washington, EE-2941