I just received the latest edition of the Molesworth Pilot and saw the article on the January 23,1943 raid to Lorient. T/Sgt Miles Benton Jones (Green Hornet) evaded with my father along with several others as described below. As mentioned, I was looking for any information on his fellow travellers but other than finding the final resting place of T/Sgt Jones have been unsuccessful.
I am doing some research on my father's Escape and Evasion from France in early 1943. In his debriefing after returning to England in May 1943, he mentions travelling with two Americans and several Europeans from France to Spain. One of the evaders is shown as a Lt. Roper USAAF. My research has found that a Grady W. Roper (Lt) 92 Bomb Group 327 Bomber Squadron was shot down on October 9, 1942 in B-17 #41-19018, piloted by Francis Chorak. It also appears he returned to England around the same time as my father so may be the Lt. Roper mentioned in the evasion report.
They evaded with a Sgt Jones. The 303 Bomb Group 359 Bomb Squadron website shows that a T/Sgt Miles B. Jones and was shot down in B-17 41-24603 "Green Hornet" on the same day as my father January 23, 1943 on a daylight raid to Lorient. Sgt Jones also returned to England in May 1943 so is most likely the other evader.
My father Sgt Robert M. Kidd RNZAF was shot down that night while piloting a 75 Squadron RNZAF Short Stirling on a night raid to Lorient. He was the only survivor and his crew is buried in the Town of St. Thegonnec.
Ideally I would like to contact either of these gentlemen or their families but after 67 years, like my father they probably have flown their last missions. If you have any information that could aid my research on the two Americans or if I can provide any information that I posess on their evasion through France to Spain, please feel free to contact me.
The following information was sent to me by a researcher in Brussels who was contacted by the author of Conscript Heros on my behalf.
- 2nd Lt Grady W. ROPER, navigator on 41-9018 :
Enlisted 2 October 1941 at Fort Benning, GA as an Aviation Cadet in the Air Corps. He was from Albany, Dougherty County, GA. Born in Georgia in 1919. The SSDI has him as born 2 July 1919; died 15 June 1988 in 71105 Shreveport, Louisiana (death certificate issued in Georgia.)
- T/Sgt Miles Benton JONES - radio operator on 41-24603 : He re-enlisted as a S/Sgt at Fort Knox, Kentucky on 27 August 1946. He is listed as living then in Ohio County, Kentucky and born in that State in 1923. So he's the one born 15 May 1923 who died 14 November 2000 in 40143 Hardingsburg, Beckinridge County, KY and buried at the Camp Nelson Cemetery.
- T/Sgt Arthur B. COX Jr :
Top Turret Gunner on 41-23678 - Serial 14063517 - enlisted 24 September 1941 at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Was from Knox County, Tennessee. Born Tennessee 1920. The SSDI has one A.B. Cox, born 22 January 1920 who died on 29 June 1991 (death certificate issued in Tennessee)
If you or your readers have any further information on these three please feel free to contact me.
Robert M. Kidd, Toronto Ontario