Oral Histories

Mitch Williams

b. 1916

Mitch Williams

The Germans scrambled the fighters to come after them. The Germans flew straight up and shot them in the belly. The Germans really cleaned up and Art’s plane was shot down. Art landed, gathered his parachute and hid in the bushes and trees by a road. They had been told that if they contacted anyone on the ground, they had to make sure it was only one person; otherwise their companion might turn you in. A German truck came by loaded with soldiers. A little girl was walking home from school and one of the German soldiers picked up his gun and shot her dead! Art couldn’t believe his eyes!

Art had to stay there for about 3 days without any water. A boy age 12 -14 years old came along on a bike and Art stopped him. He told Art to stay there and he would go get his father. The boy returned with his father and helped Art get in the underground pipeline to England. They saved his life! They brought him food and wine, but couldn’t take him to their home. Then they put him in the 2nd story of a house. He heard the Germans talking, so he peeked out the window and saw the SS marching outside.

They moved Art quite a few times and then put him in the basement of Notre Dame Cathedral with some other guys. The French couldn’t come back because they were being watched. Art and the guys had to tough it out for several days with no food or water. Someone finally came with food and water and got them out and over to England. The young man on the bicycle that found him was named Andre. He grew up and went to work for the gas company in Marseilles. Andre married a pretty girl and took her to Great Falls to visit Art. Art brought them to Moab and I have pictures of myself with them. Art and I became very good friends with Andre and his wife. We always wanted to go to Marseilles with Andre, but we never got around to making that trip.

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