Sunday, January 27, 2019 Noon to 3:30 pm
LECTURE & POTLUCK, JANUARY 27, 2019 Museum hours 10 am to 4 pm
GOLDEN GATE WING OF COMMEMORATIVE AIRFORCE
GUEST SPEAKER: Evelyne “Frenchie” Pothron
|Sunday, January 27, 2019
Social 12pm; Lunch 1pm; Speaker 2 pm
Naval Air Museum, 2151 Ferry Point, B-77, Alameda CA map
Members: $10; First time guests: Free!
Please bring a prepared dish that will feed five. And remember to ‘pre-cut’ your meat dishes.
Evelyne “Frenchie” Pothron
Evelyne was born in Sens, France (near Fontainebleau) in June 1939. Her parents, both born in France but naturalized as US citizens, had lived in San Francisco and New York in the 1930s. Her father was a mechanic; her mother was a housewife. They had returned to France on a vacation to look for long-lost siblings.
Upon arrival in France, her mother discovered that she was expecting a child after having three miscarriages. Her French doctor advised that she not fly home until after the baby was born.
At that time, Germany was aggressively expanding the territory it controlled. Anticipating a repeat of World War 1, France was mobilizing to defend its homeland. Evelyne’s father (with dual citizenship) was required to join the French Army for the second time and most passports were canceled.
Within months, invading German forces had occupied neighboring countries and Northern France. Evelyne’s father was captured with his entire unit and was scheduled to be shipped to a POW work camp in Germany.
German soldiers moved into the Pothrons’ home in Sens. Evelyne’s mother was forced to care for the enemy troops; some of them abused her. On three separate occasions, Evelyne and her mother tried to escape together. Each time, they were caught and brought back to Sens.
Finally, they were advised to leave France and successfully fled over the Pyrenees mountains into Portugal, where a great surprise awaited them at the American Embassy in Lisbon.
They were eventually placed on a ship for diplomatic personnel and returned to the US in 1945.