I am sorry if our earlier e-mail attempts failed. I just received these photos from the son of John Bianchi, one of the other gunners on the B-17. My Uncle Robert W. Owens was a crew mate of Leon and John. I asked my mom about Robert about 2 years ago while helping her piece together her genealogy. She told me that he came home from the war quieter than he left. He never married as far as she knew. And then she told me that he had been shot down over Germany and was a POW until the war's end.
My research has added a little more detail. The pilot put the plane down on top of a mountain in Bavaria. They landed in the hornet's nest but they all survived. The non-coms were likely separated from the commissioned officers. Leon likely went with Robert to Stalag Luft IV in Poland. He was also likely to be one of those forced on the Black March.
They survived an 80+ day force march during the last winter. It was believed that they were to be used as bargaining chips. They were marched on a uncertain zig-zag path back into Germany as the Russians advanced. They were liberated by British troops which I suspect were Canadians.
Thanks for agreeing to carry the story on,
John Patrick Sullivan