Jacob J. DALINSKY
Picture from William Jeurissen
S/Sgt, US Army Air Forces
Service #: 13081308
331 Bomber Squadron, 94 Bomber Group (Heavy)
Entered in service:
Hometown: Hazzleton, Luzerne, Pennsylvania
Born:29 November 1925
Died: 15 April 1982 (66 j)
Burried at: St James Cemetery, Naugatuck, New Haven, Connecticut (Info Find a Grave, Richard Lukmin)
Awards: Air Medal
Picture: Find a Grave via Richard Lukmin
Registration Card 16 October 1940 Click to enlarge
Zie/see Crash - E&E
Info from MACR:
STATEMENT OF SSGT Jacob J. Dalinsky, 13081308
LEFT WAIST GUNNER , B-17F 42-30389, “DEAR MOM”, 94th Bomb Group, 331st Bomb Squadron
Transcribed from Escape & Evasion Report 342
By Lee Cunningham
“After making landfall over France we ran into heavy flak on the way to the target. We had passed through the flak belt and were in undisturbed flight when I heard a muffled explosion. The ship began to vibrate terrifically. I hear the pilot give the order to bail out and immediately I pulled the emergency release on the waist door. Sgts GEYER and MCDONNEL were lined up behind me waiting to jump.
I think the plane was around 18,000 feet. Counting to three after clearing the aircraft, I pulled the ripcord and a few seconds later the ship blew up. The concussion of the explosion started a violent swing in my chute. Looking up, I saw a large piece of aluminum floating down above the canopy of my chute. I tried to get away from it but it kept swinging back and forth about fifteen feet higher than the silk. There were two chutes far beneath me. The next time I looked up, the piece of aluminum had disappeared. I was falling into farming country but I kept a large forest in sight as a possible hiding place. Just before I hit the ground I saw a large piece of the tail assembly on the ground. Looking up again, I saw that the piece of aluminum had reappeared and it still floated just over my chute until I reached the ground.
I landed in a field, gathered in my chute, rolled it up and hid it in a ditch and covered it with leaves. I realized then that I might be in Germany and when I heard someone running toward me I ran in the opposite direction. I got into a woods where there was no underbrush. Rather than chance running headlong into anyone in the wood, I crawled along the edge of a gully. Soon I heard twigs crackling and dropped to my stomach, but a boy and a dog came up to me followed not far behind by a man. I stared at the man and got to my feet, but before I could speak some other people on bicycles appeared. The man motioned me to get down again, but I was afraid of so many people and started running. The boy chased me and I could hear him yelling something about a cigarette but I soon outdistanced him and lost him when I reached a swamp.
I crawled into a thick clump of bushes, took off my heated suit and tried to rest. All afternoon I lay there quietly although several times I heard people moving about in the swamp. I saw no one, however, sometime during the afternoon I got out my maps to study my position. Not knowing where I had landed I thought it best to travel west until getting my bearings.
At 2000 hours I crawled out of the bushes, found a small stream about a hundred yards away, filled my water bottle and started walking. A little later I walked out of the woods into open fields. It was too dark to make progress, but at the same time, the darkness provided excellent cover. Once, in jumping over a ditch to get onto a lane, I bumped into a man who only grunted and went his way without saying anything. Around midnight I was too tired to go any further and made a bed out of some oat stacks.
I was on my way again before daybreak, wondering what I could do about my thirst. For thirty minutes I followed a path through fields before passing two children who stopped to stare. I tried to ignore them. When a few minutes of walking brought me within sight of a large estate house, I turned back to find that the children were following me. Leaving the path for the fields I tried to get rid of them but they trod on my heels for about five minutes. Finally, I turned and motioned that I was thirsty and pointed to some water in a shallow ditch. They shook their head and led me into another field where there was a spring of clear water. I drank and then got into a conversation with the children. I asked if this were Germany and was stared at in bewilderment. When I asked if it were France one of them caught on, pointed to the ground and said ‘Belgique.’
I was relived then, because in the back of my mind I had been sure I was in Germany. The elder of the children asked if I were hungry. When I nodded, both children ran off for food. They were hardly out of sight before a workman passed, going into the fields, He looked at me curiously for a moment and then came up to me to ask if I were American. I nodded and made signs of hunger. The workman was carrying a small suitcase which he opened then and gave me some sandwiches. He was frightened and left almost immediately without giving me any information.
One of the children returned in about fifteen minutes with a Belgian. He was as scared as the workman had been but his curiosity seemed to get the better of him. I asked which way I should go. The man pointed in one direction and said that was Deutschland, then he made circles with his arm and said ‘Deutsch’. I decided that he meant there were many Germans in this area. I nodded to show that I understood and he pointed to a wooded area, motioning that I go there and wait for him to bring food or help. He indicated on his watch that I could expect him about 2000 hours. This meant and all-day wait but I decided from his friendliness that it was worthwhile even if I got nothing more than food from him. He said something about comrades but I could not understand whether he meant my crew members of friends of his. At any rate, I had the impression that he meant to bring someone to see me when he brought food.
Before I got into the woods he pointed out, I saw another line of trees not far from where he had motioned me to hide. As soon as I though he was out of sight I changed my hiding place to this other small wood so that I could see him when he returned. I thought it would give me a chance to get away if he brought the Germans back with him.
I lay quietly in the thicket until mid-afternoon and was just thinking of sneaking back to the spring for some water when I heard a cyclist approaching. I looked up and saw my helper practically on top of me before I had known he was there, I never did know how he had learned that I had changed my hiding place. He brought cigarettes and again told me that I would have to wait until 2000 hours. I didn’t change my hiding place this time after he left.
As he had promised, my helper arrived at the appointed time. I had seen him approaching and noticed that he was with two men. The brought civilian clothes and after I had changed into them, one of the men put me on the handle-bars of his bicycle. We rode to his home where another man was waiting to question me. From here my journey was arranged.”
(Note from Mr. Cunningham - The following narrative was transcribed from the handwritten notes of the interrogator who interviewed Sgt. Dalinsky upon his return to England. The English in the notes contained very few complete sentences and was very disjointed. In many instances Mr. Cunningham had to paraphrase the account to make it more understandable and readable, but every effort was used to keep it as close to the original as possible.)
The ride into the village took about fifteen minutes. The house was a brick building. There were 12 to 15 horses there. I was given a sheet to fill out giving my name, rank, Army serial number and address of my home in the United States. I saw it put into am envelope and sealed. I was asked for a photograph. I gave them the one I had. I stayed for 3 day in the house. One boy there could speak a little English. He came often to see me and brought Identity Cards. On 20-August a different boy came for me on a bicycle. I followed behind him and we went to Hasselt. I saw my first Jerry (German) guarding a bridge.
I was taken to a garage and the boy was a cabinetmaker. There were two workers there. They were given the day off. I spent all day there. At dark a boy and a girl came to take me to their apartment. I was to leave the next morning. The cabinet shop owner came the next morning and we went by train to Liege. I was taken to a beer garden and later I met a lady and 3 men there. We walked around following each other. I met another guide, a Captain who was the leader of the group. Later a 65-year old man took us to the train just outside Liege. We walked two miles on a country road to a farmer’s house. There was an old man, an old lady, a son (32 years old). The daughter of this farmed was the lady that I met in Liege and she spoke English. I stayed there until the 24th of August.
Then we went back to Liege. I went with a guide to a house and met Anthony Reynolds, a sergeant in the RAF. The guide took us both to the station. We met a 45-year old lady, Mme Muller, and followed her on to the train. We went to Huy, to her house, which was a few hundred yards from the station. I stayed in her house for 7 weeks. Some kind of baron stayed at the house too, but he seems to have a (illegible). He had nothing to do with us. A big fat boy lived about two blocks away. He was Mme. Muller’s brother-in-law. He seemed to be the one that bought things to care for us. He got us new outfits.
The fat boy took us to Brussels by train. We could not bring any bundles. In Brussels we were taken to a church where we met Felix. He checked everything in our pockets and took all my money (1700 francs). I only got to keep my cigarettes. We met another guide there who took us to Ghent. In Ghent we spent the night at a house with a man who spoke English. Also his wife and daughter were there. The man who spoke English put us on a train that took us to a saloon on the French border. The guards at the gate did not look at us. From there we got on the train again to Tourcing.
In Tourcing we were taken to the home of a French gendarme who had been the head of police in the town before the war. Now he was just a gendarme. His name was Gaston and he had a wife and a daughter. We stayed there for 5 days. We were given new Identity Cards but they used the same photos. I got 2 new sets of clothing that were too small. A young girl – Simone - from Paris came for us. She was a 17-year old girl of medium height, a brunette, with a light complexion. She took us to the train that was going to Paris. When we got on the train the French police searched both of us. No words were spoken.
In Paris, we followed Simone to a house. She rang the doorbell. There was an argument. Simone seemed to be disgusted. We then walked to her house where we met her father, mother and 3 brothers. We stayed there for the night. The next morning we were taken to meet another guide at a church. The guide had a crippled right leg. He took us to the house of a doctor and his wife. I had a new photo made for my Identify Card. We stayed there for 6 days. We rarely saw the doctor. The crippled guide took Reynolds to another house and came back for me. He took me to another doctor’s office and sat in the waiting room. We followed this doctor to the house of another doctor. This was a big house surrounded by a lawn. We stayed at this house for the night.
The next day I was taken into a metropolitan area of Paris where I met a new guy. He stopped me and took away my new Identity Card, but asked me to follow him. I was led to the office of a priest, where I had to wait in the hallway. Simone brought me a new Identity Card. After a little while I met a new guide we boarded the 10 PM train to Quinper.
At Quinper another new guide met me at the station. He led me to a café. When we got to the café there were 15 Allied airmen there: Anthony Reynolds, William Quinn, William Bailey, etc. A pick-up truck came and took 5 or 6 of us to a church to meet a new guide. He took us to a warehouse or storage room for quarried stone. A young boy who lived there took Bailey and me to a wealthy home of Mme______________. She had a maid. She was small, 38 years old with brown hair. We stayed with her for 3 days: Bailey, Quinn, myself and 12 Englishmen.
On a Sunday morning a new guide called “Faun Faun” met us. He spoke English very well. He led us along a canal to a large house. We met another group of boys. One called, “Bermuda” an Englishman and 5 Americans. One of them was injured in the arm and back by flak. One was a pilot. We were kept at the house for 7 or 10 days. I think there was some plan involving a boat. Faun Faun came and said that an English boat would come for some good reason that month. Apparently there were maneuvers in the Channel. Some boys left before we did. Then Baily, Quinn, Reynolds, me and others were taken to the train station by Faun Faun and a new guide took us to Paris. Reynolds, Quinn, Bailey and I met a young couple. Reynolds and I went with the man to the City University in Paris and four others went to the apartment home of the couple. They lived there with the mother-in-law. They obtained food from some kind of food kitchen. It was usually the husband who brought it. We stayed there for 6 days.
We left the couple and went to the train station with two young girls. One of the girls was named Regina. She was a school teacher. Both girls carried backpacks. We boarded the train and stayed in different compartments. We took the train way out in the country to a large chateau in the outskirts of Paris. The chateau was called La Fortelle. We had to walk 13 kilometers to get to the chateau. We met another 8 airmen there making our group 12 in all. We stayed there 11 days. Different girls that worked at the chateau came and went. Quinn and I left with Regina and took a bus and met Reynolds and Bailey at the bus station in Paris. We went to a café and met Mme. Bourgeou. She was a big heavyset woman, 38 years old, with protruding upper teeth and dark hair. She was also a teacher. Soon the man from the couple we had first met there dropped by and Baily and Quinn went with him. Regina took Reynolds and me to her apartment at the City University. We stayed there 6 days.
A man came to the apartment and we followed him to a Headquarters office where we once again met with Mme. Bourgeou. An old lady took Reynolds and me to her home. Her daughter and little son were there. The old lady stayed with us. She could speak a little English and told us that the Gestapo was hot on her tail. The old lady moved me to the house of a Frenchman who was married to an English-born lady. Reynolds stayed behind. These were Monsieur and Mme. DeBon. Mme DeBon used to work at the American Embassy. I stayed there a week, from Wednesday to Wednesday. Then the old lady returned with Reynolds and took us to the metro. She turned us over to an 18-year old boy.
He took me to the apartment of two ladies. One was named Mlle. Simone. Part of the apartment was used for a schoolroom. The apartment was near the Eiffel Tower which was about 2 blocks away. Stayed there for 3days and left on Christmas night with a young French boy who took me to the train station. There we again met Regina accompanied by 2 Americans who had been at the chateau. Regina told us the plan had been cancelled. We were taken to a new home and met Tony Reynolds, Stanley Alukonis and Andrew Lindsay – RAF pilots and another American (6 in all). We stayed there overnight.
The next morning we were moved by the 18-year old boy to another apartment. I learned his name was Henri. This was the apartment of Mlle. Ginot a cousin of Mlle. Simone. Mlle. Ginot was also a school teacher. It was a large beautiful apartment. I stayed there for a week. Then Henri too me to the metro and we met Regina and the old lady who was taking care of Reynolds. We left with the old lady and walked two blocks to an office. There I met Sergeant Wilson and Howard Jerome Kennen (a right waist gunner); Steve Krysinsky and 12 others. We went to the office of a priest, a different one than the first. We met a 40-year old man who was Head of the Organization. He was short, 5’-6”, of medium build and had a light colored mustache and light brown hair. He spoke very good English. Wilson and I were taken by a short old lady to her house. An old man, his son and the wife and child of the son were there. We were taken again to the metro but missed connection with our guide. We waited for her to come back but she did not so we returned to the apartment. I got new clothes and stayed there 3 days.
The old lady took Howard Kennen, Sgt. Wilson and me to once again meet with the man with the mustache. We met two girl guides there. I alone was taken by the two girls to a restaurant, then to the train station where were again joined by Howard and Sgt. Wilson. We boarded a train for Bordeaux. I had received another new Identity Card at the office of the 2nd Priest. Our own photos were not used but replaced by newer ones. When we got to Bordeaux we met a 23-year old guide, “Robert”. Howard, Sgt Wilson, “Robert” and I then boarded a train for Dax. We were told to keep watch over Robert’s knapsack. 2 or 3 stations before Dax, we were confronted by two German officers. One stared at me and began speaking French. Howard couldn’t answer. The other German could not speak French but he examined my Identity Card. The two German officers were working towards the middle of the train checking Identity Cards. “Robert” tried to save Howard. Wilson’s Identity Card and that of the guide were examined by the French speaking German and were OK. Howard was taken into the station by the German officers and the train pulled out. The girls had given wrong Identity Cards to us.
We went on by train to Dax. We got off the train there and obtained bicycles. We rode 50 kilometers to the other side of Bayonne. We stayed in a café. We got by a French roadblock by agreement. We spent a day and two nights there. We then rode our bicycles to a second town and went to a house. Robert took our French money and Identity Cards. Robert, another old guide, a man from the farm, Wilson and I walked over the Pyrenees to Irun, Spain on January 14, 1945. From there we took a train to San Sebastian. We met another guide there, Flight Officer Sheehan from the British Embassy, who drove us in an Embassy car to Madrid. We stayed in Madrid 3 days. We were then driven to the Spanish coast and boarded a Norwegian freighter “Boreas” and sailed on the 22nd. Arrived in the UK on 26-January-45.
1. Evader passed two large barracks of German guards in HUY.
2. Evader saw 16 or 17 Me-109’s take off from an airfield near TOURCING every time there was an alert during the last two weeks of October.
3. In travelling from BRUSSELS TO GHENT by train, evader passed a dummy airfield about eight miles outside of GHENT. There was some netting camouflage on the field but no aircraft, either dummy or real.
4. Evader saw an unusual number of training planes flying over Bayonne, also a few Me-109’s.