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Thread: Escape route and dates Reginald Overwijn, shot down November 26, 1943 near Cherbourg

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    Default Escape route and dates Reginald Overwijn, shot down November 26, 1943 near Cherbourg

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking for more information on the escape route of Reginald Overwijn, pilot of 320 (Dutch) Squadron whose Mitchell bomber was shot down on November 26 1943 near Cherbourg. Overwijn landed with his parachute near the village of Couville and walked the next morning through Cherbourg to Bretteville where he was picked up by the French underground. Near Cherbourg he stayed for a while in a stone quarry before het travelled by train to Paris. From there he moved to a farm near Dreux in Normandy were he stayed several weeks. The housekeeper there was a ballet danser (according to Overwijn in an interview). He was still at the farm at Christmas 1943 and at his birthday (5 february 1944). Afterwards he moved back to Paris and from there to Toulouse. He crossed the the Pyrenees and travelled via Andorra, Barcelona, Madrid and Sevilla to Gibraltar. He left ' he rock' by plane on april 9, 1944. Does anyone have more details about his escape (especially dates and travel routes)? Thanks in advance!

    Regards,

    Erwin

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    Hello Erwin,

    I can only say that his Escape & Evasion Report is in WO 208/3319 report 1875 in Kew. Unfortunately not one I have copied. I imagine you may already have it ?

    Michael SIMON wrote a very good book "Combats aériens sur le cotentin". He has covered some 320 Squadron losses in his area, but a quick glance at his book doesn't show a mention on Overwijn (it's not a comprehensive book on all losses, he had concentrated with great details on a few cases). I have his e-mail address which I can forward you if you send me a PM (in order not to breach the board regulation).

    Regards

    Joss

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    Dear Joss,

    Thanks for the reply. I do have his E & E report, but it ends - as usual - on the moment when he is picked up by the underground.

    Regards Erwin

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    Hi Erwin,

    There is also a second, lesser-known, part of WO 208 which contains a detailled appendix to the Escape & Evasion report. This was for a much more restricted circulation and involved detailed descriptions of places, names, and escape routes. Niall sums up well in this post:-

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?8365-Evader-and-Escaper-Reports&p=49454#post49454

    I have a couple here (Notable for George Wood, Gerry Racine, and others - Niall, contact me if you're interested) which I haven't got around to transcribing yet, or you could see the sort of information in them. I guess I should probably get around to it sometime! :-)

    Regards,

    Jeff
    Last edited by RecklessRat; 11th January 2012 at 20:30. Reason: Removed unused html tags

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    Hello

    I do confirm Jeff's message. Since 2010 and my post in the earlier thread he's quoting, I've followed the suggestion in it, and checked/pictured WO208/5583. It's a huge file, which contains very interesting details about the evasions, like the appendix C, with names of helpers. Racine's is in /5583 and indeed it picks up the story from 4 April 1944.

    Problem is that I've not yet found the time to index all the digital pictures I took (in the range of 300+). I've juste skipped through them and haven't spotted Overwijn. But many pix are not good, due to a bad digital camera I had on this visit;

    Joss

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    Dear Joss and Jeff,

    Thanks for this information. I didn't know this! Regards Erwin

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    Dear Erwin,

    As Joss mentioned it (Thanks Joss!), I enquired on two 320 Squadron crew losses in the Cherbourg peninsula, one of them being the crew of Mitchell FR146 among whom was standing Reginald Overwijn. I wrote quiet a complete story of his escape (in French sadly...) thanks to his initial E&E report and the second part found in WO208/5583 as Jeff mentioned it (Hi Jeff by the way!), but also thanks to the several airmen reports he shared his escape route with and local accounts here in Cherbourg. I'd be happy to assist you.
    Regards,
    Mickaël Simon

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    Hello Erwin and Mickaël,

    I've eventually found Overwijn's report in WO 208/5583 in my files of not yet indexed digital pictures from Kew. The first page was slightly fuzzy hence my difficulty in reading the name the first time I checked. I've sent it to your e-mail addresses. It will complete what is in the WO 208/3319 report.

    Joss

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    hello
    I'm French and living in Cherbourg Peninsula. My step father Alexandre Crestey was dead in 2007, and was fifteen in 1943.
    His father first name was also Alexandre, he was 35 in 1943. His brother was named Eugène.
    They hid Sergeant Reginald Overwijn ( Overwyn ), Dutch pilot 320th Squadron , from 26 November to 2 December 1943 in the construction business Delacotte located 184 rue de la Duché in Cherbourg. They were helped bye Pierre Kerroux. Mr Delacotte was not in Cherbourg at this time.
    Alexander Crestey Sr part with his boss Jean Delacotte network resistance ” Delbo – Phoenix” organized by Paul Talluau .
    Talluau Paul was arrested and deported in early January 1944 and died in exile . Jean Delacotte arrested a few days later was released.
    Sergeant R. Overwijn was involved in a bombing of the launch site located at V1 flying bombs Martinvast . Its North American B- 25 Mitchell No registered FR146 NO- O was shot down by flak , two occupants killed , another survivor but taken prisoner.
    Then led by Paul Talluau from Cherbourg to Paris , supported by Mr. Bracassac , R. Overwijn managed to reach England via the Pyrenees April 10, 1944 . He arrived in time to celebrate the first anniversary of his son .
    R. Overwijn was born in Fulham (England) February 5, 1920 .
    Last edited by Jean-Yann; 28th May 2014 at 20:44.

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    see my page
    https://www.facebook.com/Reginald-Ov...2217198209268/
    last week, Nick Overwijn, 3rd son of Reginald, came in Normandy.
    great week

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