During overseas active duty beginning in June 1943, Bruce Sundlun, a Jewish-American college student, served as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot in the England-based 384th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force at Grafton-Underwood Air Base. Sundlun’s plane, the Damn Yankee, was shot down over Nazi-occupied Jabbeke, Belgium on December 1, 1943, after being damaged by flak and attacked by German fighter planes following the bombing of Solingen, Germany. It was the “Yankee’s” 13th mission over Europe. Five of the crew were killed, four others captured by the Germans.
Before escaping into Switzerland, Sundlun had once again engaged with the Maquis (French Resistance fighters) in acts of sabotage against German Army units.
Upon entering neutral Switzerland, Bruce Sundlun was recruited by Allen Dulles, working out of the U.S. Embassy in Bern to reenter France under the auspices of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to act as a spy and bombardment spotter for the Allied invasion of Marseilles (Southern France) in August 1944.
Following WWII, Bruce Sundlun became a very successful businessman, advisor to presidents and the 71st governor of the State of Rhode Island.
Source: Tim Gray www.wwiifoundation.org