Nevada City presentation on World War II airman who avoided capture |

Nevada City presentation on World War II airman who avoided capture

Submitted to The Union

History researcher Bruce Bolinger will give a presentation to the Nevada County Genealogical Society on the story of American airman Tom Applewhite, a bombardier on a B-17, who was shot down over The Netherlands on Nov. 11, 1943. Applewhite avoided capture, thanks to the help of the Resistance. During World War II, the 8th Air Force suffered 60,000 airmen shot down, 26,000 killed, 30,000 captured and 4,000 who evaded capture. Bolinger has a personal interest in Applewhite’s story, as his great-uncle, a Dutch national living in Brussels, was one of Applewhite’s helpers. Bolinger will share some of Applewhite’s experiences and talk about the people in the Resistance who helped him and what became of them. Bolinger has made five trips to Europe to research the story. His sources have included World War II archives in the U.S. and Europe, personal visits to places where Applewhite was hidden and his quest to follow Applewhite’s escape route. Bolinger also interviewed several members of the Resistance who helped Applewhite, including the head of the Dutch escape line. The presentation will be at 1 p.m. on April 10 at the Madelyn Helling County Library in Nevada City.

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