Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0659
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T4008 11-09-44 B-24 Liberator
MilRank First Name(s) Name
2/Lt. Leslie Monroe Sellers
Milregnr. Nationality Born
O-713563 American Kauffman Station, Greencastle, Pennsylvania, USA, 9 May 1919
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 8 Apr 45 Eerde-Ommen -
Evader Story
						2/Lt. Leslie Monroe Sellers was the co-pilot of B-24 Liberator 42-95138. Due to mechanical problems the bomber had to return early from a bombing mission to Magdeburg in Germany. A P-51, supplying fighter cover, collided with the bomber, making it necessary for the crew to bail out. Sellers landed in a ploughed field near Ommen in 'a dazed condition'. After some Dutch teenagers came up running to him and told him that he was in The Netherlands he started moving away. He ran until he was totally exhausted and then hid himself in some underbrush in a wood. After he had rested a while, Sellers moved on in westerly direction. He approached a farmer but he refused to help him. Eventually he contacted a man on a bicycle who urged him to hide in ‘a hole in the ground that looked like a drainage ditch’ until darkness. At 9 PM the man returned with another person. They cycled for most of the night to a farm where Sellers spent the day. That night, on 12 September, the man who had found him returned with a policeman named 'Hans' from Lemelerveld and they took Sellers to a hide-out in the woods. He joined here about a dozen people, among them two young women. They all belonged to a resistance group and carried weapons. After a few days he was joined here by 2/Lt. R.C. Vogel (E0660).

On 9 October they had to move out, when German troops entered the area. The group got dispersed and Sellers and Vogels hid for one night at the farm Hendrik Grootenhuis, before they moved to the farm of his son, also named Hendrikus Grootenhuis, at the Brandweg in Lemelerveld. Sellers tells in his book a different version. Here Sellers and Vogel first hid a few days on a farm in an ingenious hide out under a manure pile, before moving to another farm where they hid in the pigpen for a couple of days before moving to the farm of Grootenhuis. They would hide here from 10 October until 23 December 1944. Only at the end of November they sheltered at another farm nearby. Shortly before Christmas the two airmen moved to the house ofdoctor Willem R. ten Veldhuys and his wife Sophia 'Fietje' Cornelia Bouman-Kingma in Lemelerveld. Fietje had been looking for another hiding address for Sellers and Vogel but hadn’t succeeded in finding one. She and her husband then decided to take Sellers and Vogel into their house where already two Jewish people were hiding. The two would hide here from 24 December until April 1945. During the night they slept with the Jewish couple in a small hole in the cellar. On 8 April fietje took Sellers by bicycle through the German lines to Eerde-Ommen where they contacted the advancing Allied troops. She left Sellers there and returned home. Vogel was liberated on 10 April 1945. 

Sellers returned back in the USA from overseas on V-E day, May 8, 1945. He arrived home on his birthday, May 9. He remained in the Air Force and also served during the Korean War. After becoming a civilian, he worked at Fairchild Industries for several years. He also worked as an electrician and car salesman in the local area. He retired from Grove Manufacturing Company, in Shady Grove, PA, in 1981. Leslie Sellers passed away on 2 Jan 2012 at the age of 92 at Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia, USA. He is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Greencastle, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.						
* Les Sellers (as told to Shirley Evans), In the Shelter of His Wings. The True Story of a WWII Bomber Pilot Downed in Enemy Territory (Hagerstown 2011)
* National Archives, Washington, NAID: 286693719 - NAID: 286693734
* National Archives, Washington, EE-2944