Some time ago my attention was drawn by a short article in the bulletin of the Dutch 1939-1945 Airwar Research Group, together with a very unclear paper clipping showing the remains of a B-17 in a Dutch field. The question that immediately presented itself was which B-17 this was and what had happened to it and its crew.
As an avid Eighth Air Force buff I had little difficulty in identifying the plane and its crew, as some of the original markings were still readable on the plane. I was also lucky to have the membership roster of the Association of the unit to which the plane and crew had belonged. Then I found out that three crew members were members of this Association and I decided to write to them for more information.
One thing led to another and one of the three, bombardier Nino Guiciardi, told me that he badly wanted to come over to Holland 'to see where it all happened'. Before I realized I had asked him, 'Why don't you come this year?.'
And so it happens. Nino Guiciardi will visit Brummen in September 1995, 51 years after bailing out with his parachute in the same area. The Brummen City Council was kind enough to invite him over as their guest. A very sympathetic and generous gesture, which is much appreciated.
In compiling this brochure about some of the events of 1944. I have been helped by many people. First I would like to thank the three leading persons, who were aboard that B-17 that day, i.e. Marvin W. Brown, Nino L. Guiciardi and Rex E. Lewnfield. Then the son of the pilot, Louis S. Davis, who provided much very useful and interesting information. The historian of the 303rd Bomb Group Association, Harry Gobrecht, has again been of great assistance, as was the case during some of my previous researches.
In Holland I would especially like to thank Jan de Lange of Eerbeek. His diligent research in the Brummen area produced many interesting stories from Dutch eye-witnesses. Besides, the visit by Nino Guiciardi would not have been possible without his ideas and preparations. I am also much indebted to Luuk Tuiten, the Brummen information official, and Hans Wensink. They have both been very helpful in preparing Nino Guiciardi's visit. Jaap Bleeker furnished an interesting account of the efforts of the Dutch underground movement to keep one of the airmen out of German hands. Many thanks go to all the Dutch eye-witnesses who told their stories to Jan de Lange and made this detailed account possible. Photo Brouwer gave permission to use two of their photographs. Much reproduction work was done by Andries Westendorp.
The Royal Dutch Air Force will make Nino Guiciardi's visit unforgettable, as he will be flown to Northern Italy, where he will try to retrace the roots of his Italian ancestors. Special thanks to Lt Col Ton Bernards for arranging all this and last, but certainly not least, to Alexander Alta for reading my English manuscript.