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Jack T. Davis

Inside This Site
WWII: Saving the World
The Face of Adversity
Bail Out over Brummen
Mission #266
Death of The 8 Ball
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Bail Out Over Brummen

Jack T. Davis

Davis was the very last one to jump from "the 8 Ball". Copilot Kohlstedt later reported that Davis jumped from an altitude of 500 feet. This meant that his parachute must have opened just in time to break his fall before landing. He will cannot have been in the air for more than a few seconds and this facilitated his escape attempt.

The other advantage he had was that he landed in a wooded area between Brummen and Eerbeek called 'het Leusveld'. In 'het Leusveld' at a farm called 'Turfveen' lived the Dolman family. However, they were not the only occupants. They had a person in hiding there. It was Jaap Bleeker, member of a local underground resistance movement. He recalls:     
            "When I came back from an exercise in the late afternoon I was greeted by Henne Dolman with the words 'I have a surprise for you'. In front of me appeared a strongly built man in a green uniform. It was Jack T. Davis, who had bailed out of his B-17 that afternoon. He had been picked up by Henne Dolman and hidden in the woods. We decided to hide him in a haystack. The Germans were still searching the area. I spent a few days in the haystack with Davis. What is there to talk about with an American who was also a bit reserved by nature? We mainly discussed the American Civil War and the names of the Generals Sherman and Lee were often mentioned. Jack Davis was given the simple food that we all ate, mainly black bread. He never refused to take it, but after he had left we found quite a bit of it in the haystack. He had been too polite to decline, but didn't like it at all.; After a few days he was 'put on transport'. Late one evening Henne and Jan Dolman and myself brought him to a crossroads nearby. It was a very tense affair. At the appointed location two or three men were waiting for us. Nothing was said and they left with Jack Davis in the direction of Eerbeek. I had given Jack my best woolen pullover to keep out the chill. "

Davis was brought to Coldenhove, a camping cabin site, just outside Eerbeek, where the resistance group called 'Wolzak' took care of him. There he waited until he could be moved further south, toward the Allied lines.

In these months many Allied soldiers were hiding in the area. Most of them were British paratroopers, who had managed to evade captivity after the battle of Arnhem in September. A first group of these was ferried across the river Rhine during an operation called 'Pegasus I'. This was successful and Davis was to take part in 'Pegasus II' in the night of November 18. Unfortunately, the Germans managed to spoil the effort and Jack Davis was captured by a German patrol, after which he too was transported to Oberursel for interrogation.

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