Conscript Heroes" website, dedicated to the memory of those that escaped and evaded during WWII and the brave people that helped them at risk of their own lives in occupied Europe. This led on to me finally getting hold of the IS9 evaders report for my father, the text of which is reproduced at the top of this page.
This also led me to the records of US evaders, which are handily available online through NARA, the equalalent of the UK National Archives. Rooting through here finally led me to the identitty of "Guy".
Step forward First Lieutenant Wendell A McClure of Sweetwater, Texas, who was shot down 7 miles east of Beauvais on the 7th June 1944, P47D serial number 4226342. McClure had flown over 50 missions and was part of the 55th Fighter Group, 62nd Fighter Squadron, based at Boxted in Essex. McClure's IS9 report is available online here.
After returning to the US, he was married in December 1944 to a lady called Mackie Ferguson, who is presumably the lady in Ginette's photo reproduced above. A report of the wedding is here.
Also through the Conscript Heroes website I was contacted by Franck Signorile, who had the records of US Army interactions with the Pelletier family after the war. I am currectly having these translated.
These also show that the Pelletier family helped the crew of a USAAF B17 bomber shot down on the 17th April 1944, skippered by Second Lieutenant Andrew G Claytor. After a few days with the Pelletier's several men from this crew ended up hiding in Freteval forest, as part of a large group of evading airmen awaiting the arrival of Allied trops after the invasion. This is a whole book in itself but a flavour of what went on can be found here.
Claytor's evaders report at NARA is here and contains a detailed handwritten account of the crew's "adventures". In this he mentions talking to one of the Pelletier's sons who had been arrested by the Germans and escaped, who has to have been Francis Pelletier.
My return visit to France in June 2006
In June 2006 my son James and I made an emotional return to Beauvais to meet the remaining Pelletier's. Remco Immerzeel joined us to act as interpreter, and I am very grateful to him for his help before and during the day.
Bernard took us to see the house in Haudivillers (pictures above) and the current owners invited us in to see the cellar where my father and "Guy Petit" hid when necessary, which was very kind of them.
We then travelled with Bernard and Ginette to visit Marissel National Military Cemetery and pay our respects to the six crewmen that were not so lucky as my father on the night of the 5th July 1944. The cemetary is perfectly kept as you can see from the pictures below and a haven of quiet peace in the middle of the modern town of Beauvais.
We then had lunch with Ginette, Bernard and his family, three generations.
In the afternoon went to Bonlier to meet Denise and Janine and to pay our respects to Abel who rests in the cemetary there.