My name is Franck Signorile. I live near Paris and I have worked in the development of software for twenty years.
Enthusiastic since forever about the history of the Second World War, it was in fact by chance that I discovered the world of Helpers and Evaders, through the story of an American pilot who was shot down in the Paris region. In 2005, the firm I was working for was taken over by an American group. My new boss came from California to Paris to introduce himself to my team. He then passionately told me the story of one of his great friend: Henry C. Woodrum, who was the pilot of a B-24 and whose aircraft was shot down in Western Paris at Whitsun 1944.
My interest in this story grew and grew as our discussions went along and reached a peak in 2011, when the book « Walkout » written by Woodrum in the 1980’s (he died in the early 1990’s), came out. His two sons succeeded in having the story of their father published, and we met each other in Paris at the beginning of the year 2013, which was their second visit to France. I discovered the world of escape networks, « Helpers » connected to the Resistance and the methods used by the Germans to infiltrate these networks. In 2014 and 2015, I studied the routes of several other airmen which crossed that of Woodrum. My work led to several American families coming to France on a « pilgrimage » in the steps of their father, and I accompanied them.
I acquired a good knowledge of the resources available to be able to carry out this specific research. I came to realise just how difficult it was to reconstruct the journey of an airman, in spite of the help of experts who were helping by answering my numerous questions. One of them, Bruce Bolinger, whose excellent website is a reference concerning this, published at the end of 2013 the complete list of French Helpers, and the list is a very long one! It was then that the idea of putting this information onto the computer, took shape, in order to facilitate the research work, and then the project of a Website quickly followed.
The object of this site is first of all to give the researcher a simple visual and a most exact as possible tool. Several improvements are in fact underway, notably the enrichment of the data base with new information about the Helpers, so as to be able to make the link with the airmen whom they helped. It is a long job.
I also wish, very modestly, to pay tribute to all those who, during the war, chose to help complete strangers, at the risk of their lives. Their story must not be forgotten.
If you have any questions, any points or any remarks then please do not hesitate to contact me at the following email address: contact “at” aide-aviateurs-allies-ww2.fr