Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0913
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T4782 06-12-44 B-17 Flying Fortress
MilRank First Name(s) Name
2/Lt. Richard Paul Fuller
Milregnr. Nationality Born
O-2061923 American 24 Jun 1920
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 1 Apr 45 Zelhem -
Evader Story
						2/Lt. Richard P. Fuller was the co-pilot of B-17 42-102658 ‘Blanco Diablo’. On the 6th of December 1944, this ‘Flying Fortress’ was hit by flak over the target area and eventually crashed at the Ronduite between the Beulakkerwiede and Belterwiede. Fuller bailed out in time and landed in the inundated Staphorsterveld. A young boy from Staphorst, Arend Boers, was the first one who contacted Fuller. He ordered him to stay put before he took him, later that afternoon, on the back of his bike to farmer Schraa at the Dorpsweg in Staphorst. After dusk, Boers took Fuller on the back of his bike and rode with him towards Meppel, and they halted just before Werkhorstbrug. Boers asked the Bus family, who lived near the bridge, if they could hide Fuller but they had no room left. Their neighbours, the Smit family, had room left and they welcomed Fuller with open arms. At the end of December, Fuller left Werkhorstbrug and moved to Staphorst. Escorted by a certain Nel, he travelled to his new hiding address at the widowed Mrs. van Griethuysen and her daughters Jans and Isabel. Several members of the resistance stayed here as well. Near the end of January 1945, Fuller moved to the Oosteijen family that lived at De Lankhorst. Dressed as a Dutch policeman and escorted by a courier, he cycled to Zwolle on the 29th of January. Here he stayed with butcher Borst in the Thomas a Kempisstraat. Possibly he moved from here to the house of Jannes de Jong at De Genestetsstraat 56. He was joined here by F/Lt. Marie Joseph Anatole Côté (E0927). From here the two moved to the house of A.H.A.Ch. Huiberts at Hertenstraat 38 at Zwolle. This was on 1 February. They remained here until probably 23 February. One or two nights before, they were joined by' a Scottish and English airman', Sgt. H.H. MacFarlane (E0804) and F/O. C.D. Lucas (E0803). They had been hiding on a boat near Hasselt. The four were taken by bicycle to a holiday cottage at Ommen aan de Vecht by three resistance workers: Teunis Werner Kiffers, Hans Krom and Eduard Martinot. 

After about a week the four wanted to try and reach the Allied lines.  Probably also F/Lt. O.G. Korpela (E0802) joined the party is this period. Kiffers, Krom and Martinot offered to help. They would escort them from somewhere halfway along the canal between Deventer and Raalte. Because the three helpers were late they rode immediately to the Snippelings-bridge. But the four airmen never arrived there.. After the failed attempt to cross the Rhine the five ended up at Zelhem where they came in the hands of Ale Jorritsma at E 208 in Zelhem. in the following weeks the five moved - sometimes together, sometimes in twos or threes - to several addresses in the village. Joh. H. Reussink (NAID: 286682950) wrote after the war a detailed report about the whereabouts of the five in the ultimate weeks before the liberation. The five were joined in this period by two other airmen: 1/Lt. J.R. Stevens (E0904) and 2/Lt. S.E. Johnston (E0901). They hid in this period with family J.H. Reussink (Palmberg A 147 at Zelhem), family Ale Jorritsma (E 208 at Zelhem), E.J. Oosterink (A160 at Zelhem), family A. Rijnders (B-102 at Zelhem), family Berkelder (A228 in Zelhem), Joh Buunk (Zelhem), familyu Hemink (Meene at Zelhem) and family Brekveld (Ruurlooscheweg at Zelhem). Stevens and Johnston left in the last days before the libeartion for Winterswijk, but the other five - Côté, Lucas, McFarlane, Fuller and Korpela - were liberated in Zelhem on 1 April 1945. Via Eindhoven they returned by Dakota to England. 

* W. Bakker, Bezetting en Verzet. 1940-1945 in Meppel en wijde omgeving (Meppel 1984), page 117-121