John W. Carson
Aerdrome, Athens, Greece
96th Bmb Sqdn, 2nd Bmb Grp, 15th Air Force
Gunnery school was over
and I was now a new S/Sgt with a pair of silver wings enroute to
the well known repel depot, the Salt Lake City, Utah Fairgrounds
for future assignment. After a week or so several of us left on
another troop train for Blythe, CA. to be a pool for assignment
to bomber crews. I flew as a radio operator for one of the senior
officers on a B-24 until a letter I had written to Gen. Hap Arnold
came back through channels. I had requested that Gen. Arnold pull
a few strings so my brother and I could be flying in the same outfit
as he now was also in the Air Corps. I receive a lecture on military
procedures and assignment to Flight Officer George A. Levchek's
B-17 crew as assistant radio operator. The next day all first radio
operators made T/Sgt. Ordinarily the assistant R/O flew the lower
ball on the B-17 but it was a position I absolutely could not handle.
Claustrophobia and air sickness were constant companions so I traded
with the tail gunner and thus became a B 17 tail gunner.
The Tail Gunner manned
a gun position, located directly under the rudder, defending the
rear of the B17 from attack. On bomb runs you were often very busy,
warding off fighters or praying. Another important duty for the
tail gunner was observing what went on to the rear, keeping track
of other planes and reporting anything significant, such as stragglers
or cripples or planes going down, number of chutes opening et cetera.
The tail gun position was fought kneeling, and you manned it primarily
at all times in enemy territory. You were on your knees with an
armor plate between you and the outside world although it only covered
a portion of your chest. The armor plate was hinged so it would
lift up. To work on your twin 50's you had to lift the plate and
reach forward a bit to the guns. It had to be lifted to permit working
on the guns, although the machine guns could be charged with the
plate down. Never wanted that thing up in combat but sometimes it
The guns were 50 Caliber Machineguns with a butterfly grip with
a thumb trip if I recall. These guns were flexible and mounted on
a center post. The sight was sort of a cross haired ring and post,
no electronics here just good old farmer stuff. It was necessary
to use care in servicing these guns as if they did not fire at the
same speed it was difficult to maintain an aim. The movement of
the aircraft did not cause any undue stress as bombers are a rather
stable platform. We shot to hit and kill, spraying would be a waste
of ammo. 800 yards was more or less considered the distance we would
like to keep the fighters at. Any one inside of 800 yards is going
to punish you. As to armoring the guns, the squadron had armorers
but we did our own cleaning and loading ammo in the boxes, 2x2x1
- two incendiary, two armor piercing, and one tracer. Rounds were
250 in each box. I also carried spare barrels and 500 rounds of
fresh ammo. We were by now members of Lt Col. Plummers Provisional
Group and training in earnest to deploy to North Africa as replacement
crews. We got our new B-17 and the pilot named it Julie-A, no doubt
in honor of a sweet heart.
With our new B-17 we settled
down at Rapid City, SD for phase training, flying low level over
the Black Hills and the Bad Lands for gunnery practice, a tough
chore in the summer months, it was a rough ride and air sickness
was a visitor to most members of the crew. It was here we also suffered
our first casualty as one of our crew drowned in a local swimming
hole, a likable guy named Hill. It was a sobering affect on all
of us. I also made one of the dumbest moves of my life by having
Miss Spinka come out from Chicago so we could be married. We managed
to carry it off and had a one room cabin with virtually no cooking
facilities. Our bliss was short lived and we received orders to
ship out for overseas, the new Mrs Carson was on her way back to
Chicago and I was headed for North Africa. The flight to North Africa
was uneventful but exciting. We buzzed Milwaukee, WI. the home of
our navigator Jack Drummond and went on to Bangor, ME. then to Newfoundland.
Here we waited for favorable weather and winds and departed for
Preswick, Scotland. Morale was never better as we continued on to
Casablanca and then to our new station. It was early August, 1943
when our crew arrived at an airfield near Tunis, North Africa as
replacements for the 2nd Bomb Group. We were assigned to the 96th
Squadron. As a new crew we were assigned to an experienced pilot
for a period of time prior to our going on our own. I flew as tail
gunner even though I was the assistant radio operator. I traded
positions with the assistant engineer as the lower ball made me
airsick and caused a real seige of claustrophobia. Our first mission
was somewhere toward the French Coast where the Germans had Submarine
Pens. As we were met by fighters which lined up on our tail, I believe
to this day that I momentarily went blind from fright at the realization
that this was real. The glory of those silver wings and the bravodo
was quickly erased.
We lived in tents and used
slit trenches and occasionally the portable showers would show up.
In fact living was rather crude including the mess tent and mess
kits. Occasionally we would hitch a ride into Tunis, explore the
city and find some place to get a good meal. We even unearthed an
ice cream store which was soon put off limits for sanitary reasons.
One of the favorite recreations when off duty was to roam around
to old German munitions dumps collecting live 88 mm shells, proping
them against a tree or bush then detonating them with a well place
rifle shot. Once we laid a trail of powder to a dump and tossed
a match into it. This was nearly a disaster and we barely legged
it to safety, it was the last time we engaged in such foolishness.
Each tent area had a trench for safety in case of any sort of attack
and often when all was secure some clown would detonate an explosion
in a trench just to see bodies scramble. Many of our missions went
up into Italy some almost to the Brenner Pass and others in the
area of Foggia and occasion over the leaning Tower of Piza where
if we had a load looking for a target of opportunity we would all
needle the Pilot and the Bombardier to have a go. Fortunately they
had better discipline and the good sense not to drop the load.
In the early days out of
Africa we had no escorts. Later our escorts were P-38's and some
P 51's. As to the units which escorted us, I have no idea. But since
there were not that many fighter formations in the area, it was
undoubtedly a repeat process.
On nearly all of our missions
we had some form of engagement, flak or fighters, with about 90
percent of the time being fighters as well as flak. The Germans
had the FW 190's and the Me 109's. Some of the 190's we flew against
were reputed to be Gorings Yellow Nose outfit. One thing that was
noticeable was the excellent armour plating on the 190. However,
It did not make much difference whether the fighters were the ME
109 or the FW 190. Both were commendable adversaries. I have been
on missions where the enemy virtually disregarded the flak and bored
in prior to, during and after the run. The Germans were great pilots.
I recall vividly the day our waist gunner made a kill, this 109
came through on a frontal attack and past our right wing, S/Sgt
Clayton Kahler unloaded on him and the 109 was at about 10 o'clock
and just aft of the tail the rudder blew apart. The pilot pulled
up and rolled out of the cockpit opening his chute instantly. At
this time I had a perfect bead on him and nearly pulled the triggers.
I have always thanked God that I did not shoot for it would have
been a cowardly act I could never have lived with.
During the invasion of
Salerno Beach we flew two missions in support of the beach head
and on the second mission we lost an engine on the starboard side.
Since we were not to far from the target area the pilot Capt. Patrick
Train elected to stay in formation and make the bomb run. All went
well until we approached the North African Coast on our return home.
Here we lost the second engine on the starboard side. As we approached
our field we were forced to attempt a go around and at this point
lost an engine on the port side, flying now was a matter of how
soon do we hit the ground. Everyone moved into the radio room and
assumed a crash position. Capt. Train made a wheels up landing on
a hillside about fifteen miles from our base. I was dark and a fire
started in one of the starboard engines, the flames smoke and dust
served to make ten men move fast, quickly evacuating the plane.
The engineer ran back to the plane and got an extinguisher and took
care of the fire which frightening but realively minor. So ended
Julie-A the ship we brought from the States, it certainly saddened
all of us, scared us too.
One of our most memorable
missions was the initial mission of the 15th Air Force which was
to Weiner Neustadt. Our pilot that day was Philip Devine, a tough,
capable, tobacco chewing man that kept a spit can in the cockpit.
The mission was a high concentration joint B-24 and B-17 mission
with fighter escort for a great part of the way. The mission quickly
turned into a tough battle. As the escort ran low on fuel and left
us, the Luftwaffe readily replaced them. Flak was very heavy also
and losses were evident wherever you looked. We soon had a cannon
shell hole through a prop, a supercharger disabled and numerous
holes. The plane looked pretty bad. After bombs away we were into
a running battle with all sorts of fighters. Directly to the rear
a B-24 crew was bailing out and were floating in between us and
approximately 27 of the Luftwaffe fighters. It was impossible to
protect ourselves until this crew dropped to a lower level. We took
a hit right behind me blowing my new gun covers all to pieces. At
this point I quickly reviewed bail out procedures but we were able
to escape and make a landing in Sicily with a very crippled plane.
There we had to lay over for a prop and an engine change. There
is no doubt this was the worst mission I ever flew as a tail gunner.
While all this is going
on I am getting letters from my brother, now a tail gunner on an
8th Air Force B-17 telling me how easy it was for me flying down
in the Mediteranean area. I am not sure my return letter expressed
too much brotherly love at that time, however there was a vast difference
in the intensity of combat, but it was not easy any place and living
conditions were not good. As time progressed we moved up to near
Foggia, Italy. This was in early December, 1943. It was here that
I changed crews to be assigned as a first radio operator and hopefully
get that Tech Sergeant stripe I so dearly coveted. Lt. Dave Rohrig's
crew needed a radio operator so I left Flight Officer George Levchek's
crew to fill that slot. Thus, whereas my first 23 missions were
in the tail, the last 5 would be as a radio operator. As a tail
gunner I had the comfort of being able to fight back. But the radio
operator position was not a very defensable position from a standpoint
of having a chance to do any real shooting. On the B-17F model the
radio operator removed an over head hatch at the rear of the position
and then brought his 50 caliber gun out on a rail to fire out of
the opening. The gun was mounted on a ring and would travese vertically
and horizontally but with a very limited field of fire and limited
ammunition. On my final mission this gun nearly came to be my undoing.
I manned this new position
with my new crew on the B17F named "What a Tomato", piloted
by Lieutenant Dave Rohrig. Lt. Lloyd Haefs was the Bombadier. Tech
Sergeant Dave Hiskey was the Engineer. Staff Sergeant Louis Crawford,
who I think was from Jackson Mississippi, was the Lower Ball Gunner.
Staff Sergeants Horner, a Native American from Oklahoma, and Walter
Chesser were the Waist Gunners with Horner being on the left and
Chesser on the right. In the tail was S/Sgt Corely. Some of the
other names are blanks to me. This was the crew which with I flew
my last missions. In my change of crews I seem to have gotten onto
a crew destined to have hard luck. Or maybe the missions were just
getting harder. Of the five missions I flew with them, each mission
should have been a sign of impending disaster to me. Only we all
too often fail to see the signs. But we nearly went down on our
fourth mission on about December 14th. Six days later we finally
were blown out of the sky.
We were flying lead on
my fourth mission with them when fighters jumped us and wounded
the tail gunner S/Sgt. Corley. As I said before, as a tail gunner
you wanted to keep the enemy over 800 yards away or they were likely
to really punish you. I will always believe Corley got us in trouble
by waiting for them to get a bit closer in hopes of making a kill.
He already had a previous kill and possibly wanted another. At any
rate they hit him and then went to work in earnest, riddling the
plane with cannon fire. They took the right wing tip off all the
way to the airelon and also damaged the hydraulic system to say
nothing about the jagged foot long holes all back through the fuselage.
The plane looked like a sieve and developed a severe vibration,
shudderring and vibrating like a washing machine with a bad load.
We were out of formation and battling to save our butts when our
fighters arrived and pulled the bacon out of the fire. One of our
wingmen rejoined us and was really encouraging. He kept telling
the pilot, "I don't think your going to make it Dave,"
words everyone wanted to hear. Then in this same period of time
we were again jumped by fighters and I embarassed myself by announcing
I had been hit. On one off the passes several rounds entered the
radio room and into a Chute bag on the floor which had been painted
with a lot of red paint, a fact I had not previously noticed. The
dust and the excitement and seeing the red paint immediately convinced
me that I was hit and bleeding and I excitedly announced "I
have been hit!". Another look and a touch showed the blood
to be very dry red paint. I quickly corrected my excited announcement.
Well, despite our wingmen's
dire predictions our pilot did not listen to him and never gave
the order to bail out. I was glad. Although it was touch and go,
we did make it back. But the airplane, "What a Tomato",
was somewhat of a sick bird and would not go with us on our next
flight. Our next time out would be on a plane named "Eager
Beaver". It was a B17F that had made many missions and scored
some kills. Well known in the 96th, the Eager Beaver had been used
before by the Squadron Commander Maj. "Buck" Caruthers.
Our first and final mission we were assigned to on the Eager Beaver
was a strike on the Aloysis Airdrome at Athens, Greece.
The Aloysis mission was
supposed to be an easy target. It turned out to be anything but
as enemy fighters took a heavy toll of our relatively small group
of bombers. As we approached the target heavy and extremely accurate
88 mm flak started to rise and we took some bad licks. We were lead
plane at an altitude of 21,500 feet approaching the Indicated Point,
the point where the bombadier takes control of the plane. Since
the bombadier needs a steady plane to aim the bomb drop, no evasive
maneuvers can be made from the IP until the bombs are away. As we
approached the IP, the flak grew heavier. Just as we made the IP
all hell broke loose. I heard the pilot ask the bombadier how he
was doing. Haefs answered "I am going to let them go any second
Dave". I then reached for the front radio room door, which
opened onto the bomb bay, so I could advise when the bombs were
all clear of the plane. At that instant I found myself holding the
handle and no door. We had taken a severe hit under the aircraft
in the area of the bomb bay. I turned to the rear of the plane and
grabbed for my mike cord to advise the pilot of possible damage.
As I did so, I observed another 88 burst over and straight behind
the vertical stabilizer, just aft of the plane. Then the rear radio
room door splintered and struck me in the face.
A third flak burst had
struck us at the waist door or slightly aft of it, severing the
entire tail from the rest of the plane. I never saw the blast. Immediately
afterwards I could see someone struggling amongst the dust and smoke
in the waist as the plane rolled over on its back. We were at 21,500
feet and headed down. The engines of the plane were screaming. I
found myself looking at the ground through the top of the plane,
straddling the radio gun with both feet hanging out in the slipstream.
There was no way I could get out. Realizing that I was trapped,
I tried to cover my fear by fainting, but it didn't work. For a
moment I thought "This is going to cut my legs off." Then
the full realiztion hit me, "No, it is going to kill me."
My only thought now was "Please God I don't want to go to Hell."
Somehow I found the strength to extricate myself and went back through
the waist and bailed out the end of the falling bird. I can still
recall the moan of the engines, the jagged metal of the torn fuselage
and the jerk I gave the ripcord on that back pack.
Now I was floating in the
air. Below us bombs were going off, above us 88's were exploding.
Sounds of bullets or flak whistling by convinced me I was being
shot at so I spilled the chute to become a tougher target. It oscillated
so violently that not only did I become sick I also worried that
the chute would turn all the way over and collapse. That passed
and I then began to take stock. I had no serious wounds, just some
surface wounds and splinters from the door. As I neared the ground
I looked down and could see that I was going to land in a field.
I also spotted two infantry men with rifles and bayonets approaching.
Capture was imminent. The Germans did not approach as fast as the
ground. I do not recall ever having parachute training, which may
explain why I was looking down as I landed. I never would have believed
the landing could be that rough. It was like jumping from the second
story of a building with nothing to ease the fall. The German soldiers
arrived immediately and demanded that I get to my feet. After taking
the time to stay on bended knee and thank God for being spared,
I stood up and entered Captivity.
From that moment on December
20, 1943 I began my life as a Prisoner of War at the hands of the
German Military. I was, of course, not the only man who became a
Prisoner of War that day. Shortly after my capture I was reunited
with a number of men from the squadron who had been shot down that
day, including two of my crew mates. I soon learned what became
of some of the others on my plane. The movement I saw in the waste
as the plane rolled over was some of the men struggling to bail
out. One, the ball gunner, Louis Crawford, explained how he luckily
had the door of his turret open when the plane was hit. He was dumped
into the plane as the plane rolled on her back, his chest pack fell
into his lap. Like me, Crawford landed safely and was in relatively
good condition. The right waist gunner S/Sgt Walt Chesser had either
dumped his chute or it was damaged as he went out and was able to
get it deployed. Unfortunately, he broke a leg when landing. Up
front Lt. Lloyd Haefs, the bombadier, went out but struck his head
on an unknown object. He was captured on landing. He sustained severe
injuries and was unconcious for approximately two weeks. This
was all of the crew captured by the Germans. Much later I would
learn that Staff Sergeant Horner, the left waist gunner, had also
gotten out of the plane and then evaded capture.
My second day of captivity
saw myself, Crawford, Chesser and other survivors from another crew
loaded on a Junkers JU52 Trimotor and headed from Athens to Solonika,
Greece. We were held there for thirty days during which time we
under went some minor interrogation. Some time in late January we
were all loaded on a German troop train and embarked for Germany.
This trip was eventful only that somewhere around Yugoslavia our
train was briefly attacked by some partisans. We momentarily had
hopes of freedom, however it was apparently more of a hit and run
type attack and other than wounding some of our guards it amounted
to nothing. We arrived in Frankfort am Main and were marched through
the streets surrounded by German soldiers, while some very hostile
citizens viewed our parade from curb side. A very frightening experience
and one I never would want to have again. I can understand the hostilities
and appreciated the protection our guards gave us. We marched on
to our destination, the interrogation center, where we spent the
best part of two weeks.
At the interrogation center we were placed in solitary confinement
and taken out one by one to be interrogated. The order of battle
and other information the Germans had was absolutely astounding.
They had volumes of it and were seeking more. One of the items of
great interest was information about a Super Bomber, which was the
B-29. I am certain none of us helped them in this regard for we
knew nothing. I spent about a week in solitary and then was turned
loose to join the others, it seemed this was about the normal time
to try and get information.
Early in February 1944
several hundred of us were loaded onto box cars for a trip by rail
to our assigned Stalag, which was Stalag Luft VI in Hydekrug, East
Prussia. The box cars were very crowded and it was our first taste
of what would be our life for some time to come. About the third
day out I became very ill and some of the POW's that had a bit of
medical experience diagnosed my problem as acute appendicitis. After
about a day of this some kind soul was able to convince the train
Commadant that I needed medical attention and I was removed from
the train and taken to a German military hospital in Thorne, Poland.
The Doctors there operated
on me and placed me in a recovery ward with English POW's that had
been captured at Dunkirk. The operation appeared to be a success
and I was expected to recover in about six days. However, the suture
used was not sterile. A few days after my surgery infection set
in and the Doctor reopened my stomach without benefit of any pain
killer and inserted a drain. The pain was almost more than I could
bear. In about two weeks I was taken to Stalag XXA near Thorne and
joined the United Kingdom troops being held there, including more
British prisoners from Dunkirk. I was treated royaly by these men
as I was a Staff Sergeant and a Yank. Living at XXA was not bad
at all, the camp was well organized and food was not a scarcity
at this time. I do not recall the exact time but it must have been
May or June of 1944 when orders came through to send me to Hydekrug.
This was a solo train trip with a guard that delighted in showing
the LUFTGANGSTER off at every railroad stop, not a pleasent journey
as I was the prime exhibit for numerous Hitler Youth groups that
seemed to convene at each railroad station.
Arriving a Hydekrug, I
was greeted by many old friends as well as Chesser and Crawford
from my crew. I was also quickly briefed on the routine of the conduct
at this particular camp. Life was not nearly as nice as it had been
a XXA with the British soldiers. I also quickly had news that my
twin brother was back in the 8th Airforce doing a second tour on
B-17's. Everyone that saw me wanted to know, "Wing Ding, when
did they get you?" I would have to quickly explain that they
had me mixed up with my twin brother, Eugene Carson. It was here
also that I learned we had all been reported killed as no one was
seen getting out of the plane when it broke in half.
In mid July 1944 it became
necessary to evacuate Stalag Luft VI due to the Russian advance.
About 2500 of us were jammed into the holds of two dilapidated coastal
coal tramp steamers and spent five days on the Baltic enroute to
the German port of Swinemunde. Looking into the hold reminded me
of fishworms in a can. Men that were ill or suffering from wounds
were stacked in there with no thought of comfort or survival. Rather
than go into that, I stopped on the ladder half way down into the
hold and took a seat on the prop shaft there. I sat there clinging
to the ladder for the entire trip. This trip was a horror of horrors.
No water to speak of, no means of relieving the body. There were
no sanitary facilities at all. The Germans allowed only one man
at a time to go topside to relieve himself, one man of the roughly
1,250 in the hold. I think I made one trip up but it is one of the
periods that is no longer vivid in my mind. One of our group went
topside and jumped overboard, he was immediately machined gunned.
On debarking we loaded
on box cars. Our shoes and our home made knapp sacks were taken
from us and placed in the other end of the car. We were then handcuffed
in pairs. Many of the group was ill or wounded. In my case my appendectomy
was still draining. We spent an uncomfortable night in the box cars
as the train traveled to our unknown destination. In the morning
we reached a railroad station and stopped. We were permitted to
retrieve our shoes and belongings but remained in cuffs as we were
directed to fall out alongside the tracks. We were greeted as we
came out by young German Marines. They had dogs and fixed bayonets
and were being whipped into a frenzy by a German Captain. The march
to the new camp began and soon turned into a run with the Captian's
raging shouts urging our guards on. As we double-timed between the
cordon of guards, they liberally used blows to keep us moving. To
lag behind meant jabs with a bayonet or a blow from a rifle butt,
to fall meant dog bites as well. It was not a pretty scene.
I was handcuffed to a New
Yorker, a Jewish man named Adler, and he was of course concerned.
In order to protect ourselves I told him to get rid of his pack
as I did mine and we moved into the center of the column as it would
give us some protection. There we tried to avoid any damaging blows,
stabs or dog bites. This strategy worked and saved us from any major
damage as the column ran a distance of one or two miles to Stalag
Luft IV, our new camp. Once in the new camp we were released and
settled into some hastily constructed tents. All sorts of rumors
prevailed about our future and all we had for any defense was a
table knife. I spent a lot of time honing an edge on my knife and
had no idea of ever giving my life up readily. However things settled
down and Stalag Luft IV was finally completed. Although the beginning
at Luft IV was rough it slowly got around to being reasonable survival.
Food in camp was bad for the most part, scarce and poor. We supplemented
it with our Red Cross food when we got it. Personal hygiene was
never good and cold weather as winter approached was always a problem.
Mail caught up with men and even an occasional parcel from home,
but none for me.
As the fortunes of war
turned against the Germans we were forced to evacuate our camp again
as we had Stalag Luft VI. Only this time for the majority there
was no mode of transportation other than "Shanks Mare",
on foot. On February 6, 1945 we set out on foot into one of the
toughest winters Europe had experienced in a long time. I had obtained
two GI blankets and sewed them into a sleeping bag with shoe strings.
I also had a GCI overcoat and a pair of new shoes. I had gotten
my hands on Jello packs and any other small food item available
in preparation of a tough trip. I buddied up with a man now deceased,
a Leo J. Landy from New Jersey. He was a tough Irishman and a good
choice. We later became separated and I formed up with another man,
a Jack Kettler if memory serves me correctly. The days were long
and ardorous with snow storms, slush and snow on the roads. Hunger,
wet feet and frost bite joined us in this mindless trek to nowhere.
Constant companions were the body lice and dysentary. When fortunate
we would find a barn to sleep in but there were several occasions
where no shelter was avaiable. It is difficult to impart what my
personal thoughts were but I kept going by thinking of getting home
to my young wife, having a home and raising a family. Had I known
what the furure held in that regard I am uncertain to how I would
have handled it.
I never took my shoes off
at night. I basically wore them for 57 days then switched to the
new pair I had carried and traded the old shoes for a loaf of bread.
As we marched Spring approached and life was a bit better, except
for the lice and constant hunger. We kept it going one step at a
time, much of it has been erased or pushed to the back of my mind,
this I found the best way to ease the pain of the ordeal and take
care of life as new days were ahead of me. To this day hunger or
the thought of it is difficult to deal with. We were still marching
when Liberation came in late April 1945 at Bitterfeld, Germany on
the Moldau River by the 104th Timber Wolves, an American Infantry
Division. The date was either April 27 or 28 but I do not honestly
remember. As we marched through the front lines at Bitterfeld a
pair of P51 fighters flew over us, canopies open and wings wagging.
I am sure I was not the only man that choked back sobs of joy, our
incredible journey was coming to a happy ending. German soldiers
were also in the line of marchers coming in to surrender rather
than to stay and face the on coming Russians. I noticed that the
men in the trenches were all very young or maybe they looked that
As to the march we had
just completed, it had lasted 86 days and covered approximately
600 miles. Although it ended in Freedom for myself and the other
survivors, many others were not so lucky. Over the course of the
forced march, the lives of about 1500 POW's were lost to disease
or starvation or at the hands of German guards while attempting
to escape. After we crossed into friendly lines, there was no close
control of us. Another guy and I bummed a jeep ride to Halle with
a Sergeant . We holed up a couple of days at the German Air Field.
They several out of commissioned aircraft and we convinced the local
Military Government to give us some rations and a BMW motorcycle
for a bit of pleasure. We laid around and a C-47 came in a day later.
We immediately talked to the pilot, a Colonel, and convinced him
of who we were and he loaded us up for a return to Rhemes, France
where we were deloused and given clean clothing as well as food.
The next journey was to Camp Lucky Strike where all POW's were shuttled.
John W. Carson
The Eager Beaver the B-17 in which John went
The Eager Beaver here in 1943