Episode Title: Reenactments, Greek War Efforts, and Memorials with Kristof De Geyter

This week, Dennis delves deeper into his first-time experiences as a WWII reenactor, sharing his thoughts on wearing an authentic German WWII Army uniform as a US veteran and the son of an American WWII veteran. In preparation for his trip to Greece, Jeff uncovers some interesting and often overlooked facts about Greece and their contributions to the war effort. Don sits down with historian and Belgian author Kristof De Geyter to discuss his mission to place two WWII Army Air Corps monuments in Belgium and Germany. Kristof provides details on how he conceived this idea and what is involved in such an undertaking.

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Kristofand Carol Mohr, sister of Perry Powell (pilot). We had been corresponding through letters since 2013.

Powell’s crew, Oct 30th 1944

Back Row (viewer’s left to right):

S/Sgt. Tom A. L’Estrange, Waist Gunner T/Sgt. Clarence H. Harper ,Engineer
S/Sgt. Kenneth R. Smith, Ball Turret T/Sgt. Robert H. Colgan, Radio
S/Sgt. Marvin Y. Luckie, Togglier

Front Row (viewer’s left to right):

2nd Lt. Samuel T. Walker, Co-Pilot 2nd Lt. Bruce E. Phelps, Bombardier
Lt. John J. Leyden, Jr., Navigator (Leyden was replacing the original navigator of the crew, John J. Hancock, who was on a training to become Mickey-operatr).
1st Lt. Perry E. Powell, Pilot

Also missing in the picture is Leroy Bayless, tail gunner. He passed away on their first mission due to anoxia when his oxygen system became detached by accident.

Part of the crew standing between the Canadian soldiers on the stairs of the castle in Wieze. They stayed here a couple of days before returning to England.

Betsy Ross in the (flooded) meadow after the crash landing. Notice the English guard on the tail.

Marie Louise Van Lippevelde and Julia Mcintyre. Marie Louise, born in 1923, is one of the last living eyewitnesses of the crashlanding events in Wichelen, Belgium.

Julie is the niece of Sam Walker (co-pilot). She is holding crosses made of the plexi-glass from the cockpit windows.

Picture taken in Wichelen, Belgium April 2022.

Erich Tiedge directed Kristof to the place where both crews were buried in a mass grave after the mid-air collision on February 3, 1945.

  Only three men survived the crash. David Bancroft (interim tail gunner) from Powell’s crew, and John Mcormick (pilot) and William Logan (togglier) from McCormick’s crew. Logan was later killed in a strafing by an American fighter plane that mistook a POW-column for German soldiers.

Picture taken in Lehmke, Germany 2019. Erich has passed away last year.