TSgt Frank K. Cowan Train Station Plaque
Mounted on the east retaining wall outside the station.
A rectangular stone plaque mentioning three personnel of the Aubert and Duval Metallurgy Company who helped to save TSgt Frank K. Cowan when he was shot down by German flak in June 1944. TSgt Cowan had been in a USAF B-17G flying over Paris in June 1944. The plane had been hit, and TSgt Cowan had parachuted down to land in a garden near the Aubert-Duval factory, which was at that time being run by René Duval. Three teenage boys had shielded TSgt Cowan from the Germans as they rushed him over to the factory, where they hid him behind some barrels. René drove TSgt Cowan to his elegant apartment near the Arc de Triomphe for a few days, gave him a change of clothes (a pinstriped suit and wing-tipped shoes), then took him by métro to an apartment near Hôtel de Ville, on Blvd. Sebastopol.
In Paris in June 1944, anyone aiding an Allied airman would be tortured and then shot.
Inside this apartment lived Résistance members Georges Prevot (a policeman), his sister Ginette, and her husband Jean Rocher. They hid TSgt Cowan for a few weeks, along with downed Scottish airman James Stewart, who had been there for over a month. TSgt Cowan and James were both caught at a checkpoint on their way out of Paris, thrown into cells in Fresnes prison, and taken on the last train out of Paris to Buchenwald. TSgt Cowan was then moved to Germany where he was shuffled from one POW camp to the next. Finally, Patton himself marched in, just a few feet from TSgt Cowan, and liberated the camp.
TSgt Cowan arrived in a flotilla in the New York harbor, almost one year to the day after his plane had been hit, and returned to Arkansas to live a full life.
Source of information: winningwriters.com
Source of photo: Fabrice Gambérini / www.aerosteles.net
Ici le 22 Juin 1944, trois Gennevillois
et Pierre SAMMARCELLI
des membres du personnel et de la direction
d'Aubert et Duval ont permis le sauvetage de
Franck K. COWAN
aviateur américain abattu par la DCA allemande.
Gennevilliers se souvient
Here on June 22nd 1944, three Gennevillois
and Pierre SAMMARCELLI
members of Aubert and Duval's personnel helped save
Franck K. COWAN
an American airman shot down by German flak.
339th Bomber Squadron, 96th Bomber Group
8th Air Force
96th Bomber Group
US Army Air Corps