Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0901
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T4724 26-11-44 B-17 Flying Fortress
MilRank First Name(s) Name
2/Lt. Stanley Eugene Johnston
Milregnr. Nationality Born
O-759017 American 13 Oct 1923
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 31 Mar 45 Winterswijk -
Evader Story
						2/Lt. Stanley Eugene Johnston was the co-pilot of B-17 43-37913. He bailed out as one of the last of the crew. He landed in soft muddy grounds between the houses of Thomas Hof and Sjoerd Plaisier at the end of the Wenningbou (nowadays Smidslaantje) behind Midden-Haulerwijk. After the landing he walked to a little pinewood locally known as ‘het Lupineboskje’. Here he met Sander Bisschop, his son Jan and Thomas Neef. Sander Decided to help Johnston. he sent the other two away and took the airman across the fields to the farm of Jacob Graanstra. Close to the farm Bisschop hid Johnston in a hole at the steep edge of a field of heath. now Johnston was tucked away safely, Hop went to mr. Oscar Guermonprez to ask him for advise. Guermonprez told him that he would take care of it and asked Bisschop to return in the evening.

That evening Bisschop returned to the house of Guermonprez. Inside he met two men: Douwe Offringa and Luit Appelhof. These three men went to the hole to pick up Johnston and then escorted him to Beneden-Haulerwijk. In the farm of Siebe and Berendje Kroeske Johnston changed his flying suit for civilian clothes. Then they moved on tithe house of Pieter Offringa, the father of Douwe who owned a carpentry business. Johnston hid here for four days. 

In the night of 1 December Johnston, escorted by Douwe Offringa and Luit Appelhof, first went to by bicycle to the house of widow Hiltje Dijk-De Jongh and her son Tjietze at the Schansdijk near Haulerwijk. Here they picked up another the captain of the B-17, 1/Lt. John Stevens (E0904). From here they went on to Donkerbroek. In this village they hid for approximately fourteen days with Family Auke van der Meer. Mid December 1944 evangelist Johannis Fase arranged that the two moved to a new hiding address: the farm of Roelof Russchen at the Westeinde in Donkerbroek. They stayed here for six weeks.

On 3 February 1945 Johnston and Stevens were escorted by Jannes Russchen to a new hiding address in Steenwijk. Somewhere along the way the two airmen were handed over to Cornelis Stegink, member of the KP in Steenwijk. They spent the night in the house of dr. Bouwer in Tuk, west of Steenwijk. Next day Stanley Johnston found a hiding place in the house of family Koenen in the Komingsstraat. The owned a book and printshop on this address. At a later moment he moved on te the house of Jan Schapelhouman in the Oosterstraat. John Stevens ended up in the house of family Logtmeijer in the Gasthuisstraat. They owned a shop in electric articles. He would stay here until the end of March 1945. 

At the end of March 1945, Stevens and Johnston couldn’t hold it longer: they wanted to go south to make contact with the Allied armies. Although Logtmeijer was against the plan he arranged a guide. This man took Stevens and Johnston to Meppel and from there to a hiding place in the woods between Staphorst and Nieuwleusen, where they stayed a few days. With a new guide, Gerard Hueting, Stevens and Johnston were escorted to Zelhem, where they joined five other airmen. After spending the night here they went the next day via Aalten to Kotten near Winterswijk, where they found a hiding place in an old barn. Hueting returned to Zelhem. After a few days hiding here and several adventures they entered Winterswijk and made contact with Allied troops on 31 March 1945.

Stanley Eugene Johnston passed away on 4 February 2004 at the age of 80. He is Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA.						
* Jan Slofstra and Jaap de Boer, Vliegers op de vlucht. De crash van de Seattle Sleeper bij Haulerwijk op 26 november 1944 (Gorredijk 2020)
* John Meurs, Not Home for Christmas: A Day in the Life of the Mighty Eighth (2019)