Freedom Fighters: Ike Bell - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

10/26/07-Gladewater

Freedom Fighters: Ike Bell

Ike Bell had never talked about his experiences in World War Two until recently. And yet those experiences have been memorialized both in a motion picture and in print.

On August 11,1943, Bell's plane was shot down over France by German planes. He was the only one to survive the crash. Two French girls led Bell into nearby woods where the French Underground gave him new clothes and hid him at various places until they could get him on a French fishing boat to take him back to England. He was the first American airman to be successfully spirited out of France by the French Underground. A French author has written a book about this and a French movie has also been made.

In 1992 the Bell family was invited to France for a ceremony honoring Bell and the crew members who had died in the crash. Bell's sons, Steven and Larry, represented the family and were presented thier father's flight jacket that he had buried so many years ago. After the ceremony, Ike Bell was finally rready to tell his story in his book "The Old Flight Jacket".

Joan Hallmark, Reporting joanhallmark@kltv.com

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