posted on Jun, 25 2017 @ 01:20 AM
Dad crash landed in occupied France in 1944 (3/4 I can't remember). They shot it out with the SS on the ground after they landed on an abandoned
allied airstrip. It was a fierce battle with a damaged aircraft, injured crew and exactly zero hope of survival. Dad captured a Beholla (sp?) .32
pistol off of a dead SS officer as they made their escape. I have the pistol in my safe. WW1 vintage, likely given to him by his father or even
grandfather from the Imperial German Army.
Said they shot up the radial engines with their last ammo from the waist guns on the ground to keep the German Luftwaffe from using them against
allied forces. They commandeered a armored personnel carrier and made it 3-4 miles before it quit (it was shot up in the fight).
Miraculously, Dad was never taken prisoner and returned to England , via the French underground, to fly more than 30 more missions over Germany.
Several of his crew were not so lucky.
Dad flew 88 missions, four tours...they said he was crazy, but I wouldn't be here if he was really crazy. That, or we'd all be living speaking a
different language. The stories of the 381st Bombardment Group, Heavy, 533rd and 532nd Squadrons (B-17's) out of Ridgewell England, are so harrowing
they defy imagination. More losses than any other bomber group, but they kept going back...over and over.
Dad would have been 94 today. He passed 4 years ago, on his 90th birthday, with my hand in his. (and I have a great big plaque with all the medals)
Love you Dad! Miss you, man!
A true "Hero". And my hero.
edit on 6/25/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)