Imagine my excitement when finding the Liberty Lady Book Project, where Patricia Allen DiGeorge is doing research about her parents experiences during World War II — with a specific connection not only to Stockholm where we live, but also to our favorite summer island Gotland.

There are many ways to get inspired to travel. Doing research about the past is one of them and a very personal way of doing historical travel. It is also a perfect way of getting in touch with the locals as well as your own family’s history – and to get more feelings for the sights you get to see.

I contacted Patricia and luckily she did agree for us to post this great Liberty Lady summery below. Enjoy your read!

Liberty Lady Summery

On March 6, 1944 an American B-17 on a bombing run over Berlin was badly damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire. The captain and crew of the “Liberty Lady” knew they could never make it back to their home base north of London so they slipped into a heavy cloud cover and headed north. The navigator had no maps to guide them so when they finally spotted land they suspected they were still over enemy territory, possibly Norway or Denmark.

As the deafening sounds of the low flying bomber were heard over a small village on the Swedish island of Gotland young Lasse Svensson, whose father was a photographer, grabbed a camera and ran outside to take a picture of the huge lost plane.

liberty-lady-bomber-lost-gotland, Sweden

Along with the Home Guard, the boy and other people from the village of Hemse rushed to the site where the plane was able to make a safe belly landing on a soft farmer’s field known as the “Mastermyr.” Before the crew disembarked they set the plane on fire as they had been instructed to do when landing in a country controlled by the enemy.

It was a huge relief when a school teacher who spoke English explained to the crew that they were in neutral Sweden and that for them, at least for now, the war was over.

The next evening the grateful airmen were ferried to Stockholm and then taken to Rättvik where an internment camp had been set up for American crews forced to land in Sweden.

In April the bombardier of the Liberty Lady, Lt. Herman F. Allen, was recruited to transfer to Stockholm to do various jobs for both the U.S. Military Air Attaché and for the Office of Strategic Services. One of his assignments was to debrief the airmen from the different internee camps when they were given passes to spend a weekend in Stockholm.

Because Sweden was a neutral country, there were visitors from all over the world … Germany, Japan, Russia, Great Britain … and many of them were there for the sole purpose of gathering information from their enemies.

Each American on weekend leave would socialize in the restaurants and bars and perhaps enjoy a romantic tryst with a beautiful woman. When the weekend was over he would report to Lt. Allen whom he had been with and what questions they were asked. This way Lt. Allen could identify potential spies who might be trying to gain information to pass on to the enemy.

After a month or two, Lt. Allen was so busy that he asked for additional help. A secretary named Hedvig Johnson came over from London to work with him. It was not long before they were dating, and they were married on January 17, 1945 at Gustav Adolfs kyrka church in Stockholm.

While doing research for a book on the topic, I have been blogging the wartime experiences of my parents, Herman and Hedvig, at Early in 2012 I will travel to Sweden to visit the places my parents frequented while they were there … Gotland, Rättvik, and Stockholm.

I’m searching for good documentation and photos depicting what it was like in these places during that period (1944-1945) and for what might still remain intact today.

Enjoyed reading this? She also has very interesting blog posts from the old Stockholm or the World War II in general. Visit the Liberty Lady Book website to read more – especially if you think you have something to contribute with!

Lifecruiser Love History Travel


Related post at the Liberty Lady Book Website:

Liberty Lady (Wonderful slideshow with old pictures!)

6 Comments on “Travel Inspiration: Liberty Lady – The Lost Bomber Plane”


    I will go to look. More and more I enjoy the history of the places I visit. They are what they are today because of what happened in the past.


    You’re right on spot there A! I always love the history of any place or thing :-)

    TorAa said:

    Undoubtly a very interesting story.
    And what a destiny – landing at Gotland.

    btw. We count days and hours to our meeting with Claudie and Pierre;-)


    Yes, I knew you would understand why I couldn’t resist to post about this lost bomber plane at Gotland, Tor!

    We do envy you the upcoming visit to Claudie et Pierre… Don’t tease us like that! *giggles*

    You simply have to enjoy enough for us too – and have a glass of Champagne for us!!! Promise!!!!

    al said:

    What a story! :) LOVE history….

    Tiffany said:

    Great story and history lesson. I enjoy the black and white photo also.

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