February 1998

Having gained access to internet, I tried using the different searching engines to find if somewhere on the net something could be found about Oerie.

I arrived on a web site of veterans of WW II or, more precisely, on an extensive site where people were looking for information about B-24 aircraft. I searched this site for "Oerie" and found a message from a certain John R. Robinson.

He was looking for information about a B-24 "Ark Angel" that had been shot down between Oerie and Sarstedt.

John Robinson had read the story of Sue A. Thornton about Oerie, and was looking on internet for more details about the crash. I could not believe my eyes, and immediately sent him immediately an e-mail. I told him everything I knew about Ark Angel. (At that moment in time, I had no idea that the bomber was "Ark Angel", to me it was just the B-24).

We exchanged some e-mails and told each other what we knew about "Ark Angel". The Tail-Gunner of "Ark Angel", Henry Paul Stovall, was a relativ of John R. Robinson. On the initial handwritten lists, only 7 of the 9 crew members were mentioned and the Robinsons were hoping that Paul had somehow survived the crash.

I had to tell him, alas, that all 9 airmen had lost their lives.

On February 14, 1998 I received the following e-mail from John Robinson:

"While I am not a veteran of WWII, I am a retired US Air Force Colonel and I have experienced war myself. I know what war does to people. When I read Hannelore's story in the 491 Bomb Group history about the villagers giving the crew of this enemy bomber a christian burial, I was deeply moved. By November 1944, the Allied air offensive was inflicting immense suffering on the German people. For the people of your village to treat the crew members of the Ark Angel in that way shows that they understand that all men are a part of the body of christ, and that all believers are brothers on his church. The villagers of Oerie are a shining example of what it means to be a Christian..."

November 2001

When collecting the information for this page I came in contact with quite a few people who 60 years after the conflict are still interested in the fate of service men on both sides who had lost their lives.

At the same time I learned a lot of horrible details about the crashes. For instance the crash near Hüpede. I use this opportunity to thank John Meurs, a Dutchman living in Switzerland, who helped me translating this page and provided me with a lot of fresh details about "Ark Angel".

Thomas Pohl, November 2001