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PAUL H. LONG CREW - 360th BS
(crew assigned 360BS: 28 April 1944)
Original Paul H. Long Crewmen:
1Lt Paul H. Long (P)(INT/ESC), 2Lt Wilbur V. Gee (CP)(KIA),
1Lt Ona Lawrence Vell (N), 1Lt Edward D. Beasley (B)
T/Sgt John D. Mours (E)(INT/ESC),
T/Sgt Arthur L. Habich (R)(INT),
Ranks and grades at time of last combat mission
Thirty dispatched (29 credited) Combat missions flown by 1Lt Paul H. Long:
Seventeen B-17Gs flown by 1Lt Paul H. Long on his thirty dispatched combat missions:
(INT) 13 July 1944 mission #203 to Munich Germany in B-17G #42-97905 (No Name) (360BS) PU-R. Aircraft was hit by flak just after "Bombs away". The hit tore a big hole in the wing between the #1 and #2 engines. It then came back almost into formation position, stayed there momentarily, and then went off to the right under control and holding altitude. The Fortress was last spotted heading towards Switzerland with fuel leaking from the wing. While flying towards Switzerland two P-51s appeared and escorted them to the Swiss border. Swiss Air Force ME-109s then guided them to an airfield. Lt Paul H. Long and CoPilot Lt Harold L. Carlman, Jr. made a very difficult landing at Dubendorf, Switzerland. The #2 engine had been shut down with the damaged #1 engine operating erratically. The flaps were inoperative resulting in a high speed final approach and landing. The B-17 overran the runway and came to a halt in a meadow. Swiss Engineers who examined the B-17 counted over sixty flak hits in the left wing. Daylight could be seen through the two large wing holes. The crew was then interned in Switzerland.
(INT/ESC) - Escaped internment and returned to England and Molesworth in October 1944
Substitute crewmen on the 13 July 1944 mission:
2Lt Harold L. Carlman, Jr (CP)(INT/ESC) - From the Lt Avery L. Atwell Crew
by Marvin E. Shaw
Leaving the hotel at 0615 pm, we walked boldly out of town. We met many guards but were not recognized or questioned. Once we passed Hal's girl friend who did not recognize us until we spoke. That night we, with two other men who joined us, the Yugo, and an Austrian, walked twenty kilometers (about 15 miles) in two hours and fifteen minutes, arriving at a small town called Kloisters. We went to an old hospital, being used at that time as an internment camp for Polish refugees. We were smuggled in for the night. My foot was bleeding from the mad flight. It was treated by a Polish doctor. We dined that night on sardines and brown bread. For the first time in my life, sardines tasted good. The next morning we were up at 0400 am. The same fare was served at breakfast. We walked two or three more kilometers and boarded a train at Serenoise.
Our greatest obstacle, so we thought, was at Lanquart. We changed trains there without incidence. At Zurich we changed trains again with a two hour delay. We walked about town for awhile, stopping for a sandwich and coffee. Entering the train again, we started on our way to Biel. Many soldiers were on the train but we were not suspected. Once there was no one on the train except our party and Swiss soldiers. But we pretended to be asleep. At Biel we missed our train, which was not good, as we wanted to be at Neuchatel or Lausanne by nightfall. For three hours we walked and dined. Always we were careful eat as the Swiss and to act, as near as possible, like them.
Eventually we left Biel and just as eventually arrived at Neuchatel. When we were met by a friend of Michaelvitch, she was unable to help us find a guide across the frontier so we decided to go to Lausanne. On the way there, I was forced to sit alone in a double seat. At every stop, I had new companion and each one wanted to talk. I didn't trust my French that far so I just read my newspaper, which I had already read a dozen times. One fellow spoke to me in French, German and Italian. He must have thought me an awful bore since I didn't answer or maybe he thought I was deaf.
At last we arrived at Lausanne about 0815 pm Oct. 17, 1944. We spent hours walking the streets, waiting for an opportunity to go to the American Club at the Palace Hotel. There we met one Mrs. Spirieli, who took us to the home of Madame Gonet, a Dutch woman engaged in aiding Americans to escape to fight again. At about 1200 o'clock that night we sat before the most welcome sight I can think of — a well filled table.
For seven days we rested here as English scholars while Brown and Francois Gonet, son of Madame Gonet, arranged for us to get across the border. During that time our number had increased to ten — eight Americans and two Englishmen. Of the eight Americans, there was Hal, copilot of our crew, myself, navigator, next came Cassidy, bombardier, and lastly Long, pilot. Thus the crew's officers went out together.
After staying at Mdm. Gonet's for seven days, we started for the frontier at Geneva. We walked from the house in pairs, about twenty yards apart. We left about seven o'clock pm. It was pouring rain. We walked about a mile through town to an old forest park where we were picked up by a fellow in a truck. Of course the back was covered with canvas. Here Brown left us, but Francois went on. After driving for about two hours, we came to the edge of Geneva about two miles from the frontier. Here we left the truck and started for the frontier on foot. It was still raining and the fields we crossed were muddy and filled with holes of water. Soon we were soaked from the rain and our shoes were filled with water and mud.
After walking about a mile we came to a river and followed it to a bridge on a main highway. This bridge was guarded but our spies had previously determined the time the guard would be absent from the end. Waiting until the guard left for his rounds, we sneaked across the bridge, climbed a fence, passed through an old cement factory and came to what we thought was the frontier fence. It was on the other side of a small stream used for powering the mill. To get across, we walked across the top of the sluice-gate. At the far side we encountered a stone wall about eight feet high. Climbing the wall, we found three strands of barbed wire. Eventually however all were safely across into what we thought was France. Then, to our dismay, we found that we were two short. Hal and another fellow were not among us. So our guide went back and found them where we had left the truck. Due to language, they has misunderstood the guides instructions. So after and hour or so they too were over the fence. Then we went across a turnip field, smoking, laughing — a happy bunch.
Then Francois began to wonder if we really were in France. Leaving us again in hiding he went up to a house and made inquires – finding we were still in Switzerland. Fortunately the man Francois spoke to was an Englishman so he showed Francois where the border was. We hurried to it to find two fences of interlaced barb wire about eight feet high. We climbed over and through as best we could and many pieces of clothing were left flapping in the breeze. Also many hands were torn and cut by the barbs, mine no exception. But we got across and hid in an old barn while Francois went to find some friendly French — preferably the Marquis. We had been inside about five minutes when the Swiss Border Patrol came by passing within a few feet of our hiding place.
One funny incident occurred to relieve the monotony and dreariness of our wait. We were smoking and standing or walking around and trying to keep warm without making too much noise, when suddenly there was a crash and a stifled cry. One fellow had fallen through the floor. He caught himself on the edges of the hole with his arms and with help was able to climb up. By the aid of matches and cigarette lighters, we could see a hole some twenty to thirty feet deep with mud and water in the bottom. That was about 0100 am on the morning of 26 Oct 1944.
At about 0200 am we heard voices and steps. Looking out into the night we were able to distinguish about twenty men with rifles and machine guns. They rapidly surrounded the building and trained their guns on every door and window. We did not know if they were friend or foe, but soon they sent three men in with Francois. I surely was relieved when the leader said, "Vous sont Amercain, n'est ce que?" We all said, "Oui" with our best French accent. Then they told us they were the Marquis and extended their hands in welcome.
Then we started on the last leg of our journey for that night. We walked across fields, hills and streams, through rain, mud and slosh for I suppose about two or three miles, though it seemed like ten. Finally we came to a small French village where the Marquis had their camp. It was a massive stone building with a single in one room and bunks with nothing but thin mattresses and one or no blankets. That night we dined on cheese and brown bread with much wine. In the morning only wine was left but we were given freely of all they had. I slept in my wet clothes, but it was warmer that way.
The next day we were up at dawn and to my surprise we were within a dozen yards of the Swiss border. The Marquis chief called the Americans at Annecy and a car was sent for us. At Annecy Francois left us. For three days we had fresh eggs, milk, butter, white bread, real coffee – in fact things we had not had for so long. We were waited on by German prisoners. It was the life of Riley, but then Riley came home — or rather orders came for us to move on to Lyons. After almost a day, we were picked up by a B-17 and carried to England. Back once again to the American army. We arrived there the 27th of Oct, 1944, just eleven days after we left Davos and three months and two weeks after we had taken off to bomb Nazi Munich.