Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0903
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T4724 26-11-44 B-17 Flying Fortress
MilRank First Name(s) Name
S/Sgt. Henry Merit St.George
Milregnr. Nationality Born
32845187 American
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 7 May 45 Utrecht -
Evader Story
						S/Sgt. Henry Merit St. George was the tail gunner of B-17 43-37913. After bailing out he landed on a field behind the woods between Norg and Landelo, on a crossroad of two dirtroads, the Wiltgenkampweg and the Noorse Veldweg. During the landing he hurt a foot. He unbuckled his parachute and started walking. The first moments he must haven been wandering around because shortly afterwards he returned on the spot where his parachute was. He then walked over the Veldweg to the south-west and after a while turned left a took a path into the woods. He eventually reached the house of Jacob Hadderingh and his wife Margje at Postmaatseweg 12 in Norg. Here St. George knocked on the window. Margje let him in, gave him something to eat and halted the passing Epke van Mesdag who spoke English.  

St. George told them that he was an American airman and wanted to flee. They now changed some of his flying clothes for ‘civvies’. St. George was told to go to the summerhouse of Van Mesdag, a little bit deeper in the wood, while he would go for doctor Elzenga to check his foot. First he couldn’t find the house of Van Mesdag so he returned to the Hadderinghs. Jakob Hadderingh who meanwhile had come home, now brought him to the house of Van Mesdag. Dr. Elzenga concluded that his foot was not broken. He slept that night in a little shed ‘between the potatoes’ behind the summerhouse.

Early next morning Van Mesdag escorted him until the woods of Veenhuizen. From there St. George proceeded on his own. Soon after A.J. Rijs of the Veenhuizen asylum found St. George in the woods near the GWA-kazerne (barracks) of Veenhuizen II. A colleague of Rijs informed their commanding officer, major H. Reinaldus. He arranged a hiding place for St. George on the attic of the ‘kazerne’ (barracks). In the afternoon Rijs and St. George left by bike for Apeldoorn. At control posts Rijs should treat St. George ‘as a prisoner who was in transfer to another location’.

Via Appelscha they reached before darkness Rouveen where the two spent the night in a small hotel. The next day - 28 November- the travelled further south. They managed to cross the IJssel river by ferry at Wijhe without incidents. Eventually Rijs and St. George reached Apeldoorn where they contacted mr Van der Weg. He warned the local resistance. St. George hid the following days in the house of Family Woltman at the Jachtlaan. 

From 3 December until Christmas he hid in the house of Dr. Best. After a fruitless try to reach the Allied lines at the end of 1944, he was escorted by Tiny Woltman to Utrecht. The next four months he hid here in the house of Family Eibert Bunte in the Acacialaan. He was liberated here on 7 May. The next day he reported himself to the Canadian authorities.						
* 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)
* J.H. Middelbeek, Ik draag u op (Apeldoorn 1946), page 134