During the summer of 2007, filmmaker George Ciampa met Jean-Paul Favrais in France, while filming Ciampa’s second documentary, “Let Freedom Ring…Memories of France.” As a researcher of WWII crashes of Eighth Air Force planes in Western France, one of the sites researched by Favrais was that of Lt. Oran T. O’Connor, a B-17 pilot, who crash landed on a farm in a burning plane with only a wounded tail gunner aboard with him. The rest of the crew was ordered to bail out. Sixty years later in 2004, the pilot’s daughter, Kathleen Stanclift, was contacted by Favrais while he was doing research work. Hosted by him, in 2007, she visited the farm where her father crash landed in 1943. Upon her return home, she met with Ciampa to tell of her experience. Upon meeting Jean-Paul, Ciampa was so impressed with the amazing work he was doing, that Ciampa wanted to make this film on the fallen heroes of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, the largest air fleet ever assembled.
Jean-Paul Favrais began his interest in the fallen heroes of the Mighty Eighth with his experience as a nine-year-old boy when he witnessed a US P-38 fighter plane crash near his home in France after D-Day. Upon seeing the pilot’s dead body, Favrais was determined to learn the identity of the pilot who gave his life to bring liberty to his country and then to reach out to the pilot’s family. Indeed, Favrais became motivated throughout his life and his retirement to discover the identities of the many fallen heroes and commemorate their sacrifice with their families far away back home in the United States. Through the internet, he searches for family members of those heroes who gave their lives for the liberation of France. He then hosts families while visiting the crash sites of their loved ones…for closure. This documentary follows Jean-Paul’s footsteps and reveals experiences told by hosted family members of perished airmen as well as hearing from living veterans of the “Mighty Eighth.”