Showing posts with label WWII POW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WWII POW. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2015

WWII Veterans Don't Want History Edited

Japan’s views of WWII history rankles some US veterans 
April 25, 2015
(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)(Credit: AP)
Lester Tenney talks about the more than three years he spent in a Japanese prisoner of war camp Monday, April 20, 2015 in Carlsbad, Calif. Tenney endured three hellish years as a Japanese prisoner during World War II, but with the passing of decades and repeated visits, he’s made peace with his former enemy. Yet as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to address Congress next week, in the 70th anniversary year of the war’s end, something rankles the U.S. military veteran about Japan’s attitude toward its past. "They don’t want the young people to know what really happened,"says Tenney.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lester Tenney endured three hellish years as a Japanese prisoner during World War II, but with the passing of decades and repeated visits, he’s made peace with his former enemy. Yet as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to address Congress next week, in the 70th anniversary year of the war’s end, something rankles the U.S. military veteran about Japan’s attitude toward its past.

“They don’t want the young people to know what really happened,” complains Tenney, now 94.

The Associated Press spoke to three U.S. war veterans about their surrender in the Philippines in 1942 and their exploitation as slave laborers in Japan. It’s an episode of history most notorious for the Bataan Death March, when tens of thousands of Filipino and American prisoners of war were forced 65 miles on foot to prison camps. Thousands are believed to have perished.

The AP also asked the veterans for opinions about Japan today. The U.S.-allied nation issued a formal apology to American POWs in 2009 and again in 2010, and has paid for some veterans to travel to Japan, leaving them with a more positive view of the Japanese people.

All three veterans, however, remain adamant that their wartime experiences, and those of the POWs who didn’t make it, should not be forgotten.
read more here

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Louie Zamperini WWII Veteran "Unbroken"

If you have PTSD, then know this, you are not broken either. You changed the same way all men and women do in combat. Some just change more but that is because they feel things more. In other words, strong emotional core. It is never too late to get help to heal.

Unbroken Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Angelina Jolie Directed Movie HD
Unbroken Official Trailer #2 (2014) - Angelina Jolie Directed Movie HD

The Story of Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand
Eight years ago, an old man told me a story that took my breath away. His name was Louie Zamperini, and from the day I first spoke to him, his almost incomprehensibly dramatic life was my obsession.

It was a horse--the subject of my first book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend--who led me to Louie. As I researched the Depression-era racehorse, I kept coming across stories about Louie, a 1930s track star who endured an amazing odyssey in World War II.

I knew only a little about him then, but I couldn’t shake him from my mind. After I finished Seabiscuit, I tracked Louie down, called him and asked about his life. For the next hour, he had me transfixed.

Growing up in California in the 1920s, Louie was a hellraiser, stealing everything edible that he could carry, staging elaborate pranks, getting in fistfights, and bedeviling the local police. But as a teenager, he emerged as one of the greatest runners America had ever seen, competing at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he put on a sensational performance, crossed paths with Hitler, and stole a German flag right off the Reich Chancellery. He was preparing for the 1940 Olympics, and closing in on the fabled four-minute mile, when World War II began. Louie joined the Army Air Corps, becoming a bombardier. Stationed on Oahu, he survived harrowing combat, including an epic air battle that ended when his plane crash-landed, some six hundred holes in its fuselage and half the crew seriously wounded.

On a May afternoon in 1943, Louie took off on a search mission for a lost plane. Somewhere over the Pacific, the engines on his bomber failed. The plane plummeted into the sea, leaving Louie and two other men stranded on a tiny raft. Drifting for weeks and thousands of miles, they endured starvation and desperate thirst, sharks that leapt aboard the raft, trying to drag them off, a machine-gun attack from a Japanese bomber, and a typhoon with waves some forty feet high. At last, they spotted an island. As they rowed toward it, unbeknownst to them, a Japanese military boat was lurking nearby. Louie’s journey had only just begun.

That first conversation with Louie was a pivot point in my life. Fascinated by his experiences, and the mystery of how a man could overcome so much, I began a seven-year journey through his story. I found it in diaries, letters and unpublished memoirs; in the memories of his family and friends, fellow Olympians, former American airmen and Japanese veterans; in forgotten papers in archives as far-flung as Oslo and Canberra. Along the way, there were staggering surprises, and Louie’s unlikely, inspiring story came alive for me. It is a tale of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken.

The culmination of my journey is my new book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I hope you are as spellbound by Louie’s life as I am.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Watchfire Burns for the Missing

Watchfire Burns for those Missing in Action
By Chris Hooker
September 27, 2014
Remembering the Missing
ROTC members from three colleges showed up to light the symbolic beacon for missing soldiers on the shore of Cayuga Lake.

A bonfire burned brightly Friday night at Myers Point Park in Lansing, but to veterans everywhere, it was something much more symbolic.

Last week, September 19, the Finger Lakes Chapter #377 of the Vietnam Veterans of America held their 24th Annual Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Watch Fire at 7 p.m. The watch fire was held in commemoration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

The watch fire is an enormous bonfire that can be seen from afar, and especially across the lake from Myers Point Park. The watch fire aspect of National POW/MIA Recognition Day is not just a Lansing thing, as cities and towns all of America honor those who are still listed as a prisoner of war and missing in action in the same way.

"It’s the recognition of MIAs and POWs," said organizer Danny Baker, of Vietnam Veterans of America. "There are still people missing from Vietnam, Korea, World War II, Korea and Afghanistan. It’s just a way to bring attention that there are still people missing, so politicians won’t forget."
read more here

Friday, September 19, 2014

POW-MIA Day and the story few know

The Story of the POW/MIA Flag
By Marc Leepson
Published Online: April 18, 2012

Heisley modeled the flag's silhouette on his 24-year-old son, who was on leave from the Marines and looking gaunt while getting over hepatitis. Heisley also penned the words that are stitched on the banner, "You are not forgotten."
Newt Heisley, with the POW/MIA flag he designed. (Copyright Don Jones Photography)
You see it everywhere—the stark, black-and-white POW/MIA flag—flying in front of VA hospitals, post offices and other federal, state and local government buildings, businesses and homes. It flaps on motorcycles, cars and pickup trucks. The flag has become an icon of American culture, a representation of the nation's concern for military service personnel missing and unaccounted for in overseas wars.

From the Revolution to the Korean War, thousands of U.S. soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors have been taken prisoner or gone missing. But it took the Vietnam War—and a sense of abandonment felt by wives and family members of Americans held captive—to bring forth what has evolved into the nation's POW/MIA symbol.

The POW/MIA flag is inextricably tied to the National League of POW/MIA Families, which was born in June 1969 as the National League of Families of American Prisoners in Southeast Asia. Its mission was to spread awareness of the mistreatment of POWs at the hands of their captors. It was the brainchild of Karen Butler, wife of Navy pilot Phillip Butler, who had been shot down over North Vietnam in April 1965, and Sybil Stockdale, whose husband, Navy Commander James Bond Stockdale, was the highest-ranking POW in North Vietnam. Stockdale had been held prisoner since September 1965, when his A-4 Skyhawk went down over North Vietnam.

In 1971, League member Mary Hoff came up with the idea of creating a flag as the group's symbol. Her husband, Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Hoff, had been missing since January 7, 1970. Mary Hoff called the country's oldest and largest flag-maker, Annin Flagmakers of Verona, N.J.
read more here
Thanks Gunny for the link to this!

Presidential Proclamation --- National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2014

America's history shines with patriots who have answered the call to serve. From Minutemen who gathered on a green in Lexington to a great generation that faced down Communism and all those in our military today, their sacrifices have strengthened our Nation and helped secure more than two centuries of freedom. As our Armed Forces defend our homeland from new threats in a changing world, we remain committed to a profound obligation that dates back to the earliest days of our founding -- the United States does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind. On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we express the solemn promise of a country and its people to our service members who have not returned home and their families: you are not forgotten.

My Administration remains dedicated to accounting as fully as possible for our Nation's missing heroes, lost on battlefields where the sounds of war ceased decades ago and in countries where our troops are deployed today. Whether they are gone for a day or for decades, their absence is felt. They are missed during holidays and around dinner tables, and their loved ones bear this burden without closure. Americans who gave their last full measure of devotion deserve to be buried with honor and dignity, and those who are still unaccounted for must be returned to their families. We will never give up our search for them, and we will continue our work to secure the release of our citizens who are unjustly detained abroad. Today, we acknowledge that we owe a profound debt of gratitude to all those who have given of themselves to protect our Union and our way of life, and we honor them by working to uphold this sacred trust.

On September 19, 2014, the stark black and white banner symbolizing America's Missing in Action and Prisoners of War will be flown over the White House; the United States Capitol; the Departments of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs; the

Selective Service System Headquarters; the World War II Memorial; the Korean War Veterans Memorial; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; United States post offices; national cemeteries; and other locations across our country. We raise this flag as a solemn reminder of our obligation to always remember the sacrifices made to defend our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 19, 2014, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I urge all Americans to observe this day of honor and remembrance with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gives former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, a hug after introducing him as the guest speaker at the 2014 National POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony at the Pentagon, Sept.19, 2014
DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Airmen receive long-overdue POW medals after 70 years!

About time: WWII airmen receive long-overdue POW medals
FOX News
April 30, 2014

It's recognition more than 70 years in the making.

Eight U.S. service members shot down and captured while fighting Hitler’s Nazi regime finally received long overdue Prisoner of War medals during a ceremony Wednesday at the Pentagon. For decades, the airmen were denied POW status, even though they crashed over Germany and were later held in a prison camp in Wauwilermoos, Switzerland. But after a grandson of one of the airmen fought a 15-year battle to show what they had gone through, including the daring escapes that allowed them to get back to the fight, the Pentagon reversed course.

USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III presented the medals to eight of the veterans and one of their grandsons during the ceremony. The Air Force authorized the awarding of the medal to 143 USAAF airmen last year following a change in criteria. Army Air Corps First Lieutenant James Mahon, 91, was among those honored, some 70 years after his imprisonment after he and the rest of his B-17 crew were captured.

"It’s the kind of courage we read about in books, that people make movies about," Welsh said of the valor shown by the airmen. "But make no mistake about it, these men have that type of courage … and boy, did these guys saddle up.”
read more here

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The day the highest-ranking POW came home

The day the highest-ranking POW came home
The Gazette
by Tom Roeder
Published: August 16, 2013

It was two days after VJ day when the war ended for Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright IV.

The former commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, which once called Fort Carson home, was the highest-ranking American prisoner of war taken in World War II, or any other war.
read more here

Thursday, May 9, 2013

WWII POW Veteran killed by bus

Veteran struck by T bus mourned
CBS Boston
Thursday, May 9, 2013
By:Richard Weir

The American flag flew at half-staff yesterday outside Melrose Towers, where residents mourned the death of a longtime neighbor, an 88-year-old World War II veteran and former prisoner of war killed Tuesday when he was struck by an MBTA bus while walking to a meeting at his local VFW Post.

“I am kicking myself that I didn’t give him a ride,” said 
Marilyne Wild, 71, who was 
returning home when she saw her friend, Minor McLain, heading out of the front gates of their condo complex, walking with his cane.

“I said, ‘Gee, maybe I should offer him a ride.’ But I thought to myself, he always turned me down in the past, he’ll probably turn me down again.”
read more here

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

World War II veteran gets duffel bag back

World War II veteran gets duffel bag back after almost 70 years
By Randi Belisomo
January 8, 2013

A World War II veteran from Indiana has his duffel bag back almost 70 years after he lost it.

William Kadar was fighting the Germans in France in November of 1944 when he became separated from his trusty sack.

“Well, I finally got it!” Kadar, 92, said today in Merrillville.

He was later captured by the Germans and forced to march across France and Germany to a prisoner of war camp. The camp was liberated, but Kadar did not see his bag again until today.
read more here

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WWII ex-POW receives Purple Heart at church service

Purple Heart Awarded To Veteran During Church Service In Lynchburg
It took seven decades but George Rogers has finally been recognized for his hard work and service
Bryce Williams
June 17, 2012

His sacrifice was great. Today, a World War II veteran was honored in a big way during a Sunday church service in Lynchburg.

While serving in the Phillipines, Rogers was taken prisoner by the Japanese. At one point, he was forced to walk 75 miles in 5 days during what's called the Bataan Death March.

He was deprived of water and food for prolonged periods. At one point, the 6’3” man weighed 85 pounds. He spent several years in a prison camp and, had to bury 1,600 of his fellow soldiers. For all that he went through, Pastor Jonathan Falwell presented Rogers with the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals. Today's presentation was symbolic since Rogers recently received the medals.
read more here

Thursday, October 22, 2009

POW WWII Veteran finally gets Silver Star

Silver Star presentation first of its kind in Sanford

By Ellen W. Todd
Sanford News Writer

Thursday, October 22, 2009
SANFORD — Leon J. Tanguay, of Sanford, was 19 when he was captured in Saint Lô, France, in August of 1944. As a scout, Tanguay had gone out ahead of his platoon as they made their way from the beaches of Normandy inland. He was alone when the Germans took him prisoner.

He spent nine months as a prisoner of war — first at Stalag 12A, a camp near Limburg, Germany, and then at Stalag 7A in Moosburg, Germany. He and other POWs spent much of their time clearing roads that had been bombed by American troops, working on Germany's railroad, digging potatoes and digging holes in a forest where trees were to be planted.

Tanguay and other POWs were liberated in April of 1945 after German guards fled the camps and shortly before the end of the war.
read more here
Silver Star presentation first of its kind in Sanford

Saturday, October 3, 2009

POW veteran fraudster 'living a lie'

POW veteran fraudster 'living a lie'

October 03, 2009
Article from: Australian Associated Press
THE Federal Government has referred a case of alleged fraud involving a man who claimed to be one of Australia's youngest prisoners of war to the Australian Federal Police for investigation.

South Australian Arthur Rex Crane, 83, has been on the highest level of service pension since 1988 and is the Federal President of the Prisoners of War Association of Australia, Fairfax Media reported.

He has alleged he was captured by the Japanese in 1942, became a prisoner of war at 15 and was imprisoned in Singapore's Outram Road jail.

But the Sydney Morning Herald reported that throughout the war the 83-year-old lived in Adelaide and had never served in the military.
read more here,25197,26159772-5006784,00.html

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Acknowledging a POW’s sacrifice, eligible for Purple Heart

Acknowledging a POW’s sacrifice
Decades after their deaths, they are eligible for Purple Heart
By Brian MacQuarrie
Globe Staff / August 2, 2009

EPPING, N.H. - The World War II mess kit still gleams when the sun strikes its aluminum, a treasured family keepsake that bears hundreds of tiny markings chiseled in secret in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

The etchings form a cross, the letters R.I.P., and the date, Dec. 28, 1942: the day when an Epping farmboy, Private Joseph Norman St. Laurent, died in the Philippines after surviving the Bataan Death March, the hell of a prison ship, and a scavenger’s diet of worms, grubs, cats, and monkeys.

If St. Laurent had died in combat, he would have been awarded a Purple Heart, a presidential honor to acknowledge the sacrifices of those killed or wounded while serving with the military. But because he perished in captivity, St. Laurent and 12,000 other US veterans who died in prison camps in World War II never received that recognition.

Now, more than six decades later, the Defense Department has expanded its criteria for the medal to include any POW who died in captivity after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. As a result, in the first ceremony of its kind in the nation, the next-of-kin of many of the 61 prisoners from New Hampshire who died during World War II and the Korean War will gather at the state veterans cemetery Aug. 8 to honor their long-deceased loved ones.
read more here
Decades after their deaths, they are eligible for Purple Heart

Monday, July 27, 2009

Real Ex-POW's Veterans History Project Wants to Know Your Story

Ex-POWs battle against time to tell stories

By James Hannah - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jul 27, 2009 7:34:38 EDT

DAYTON, Ohio — Museums are seeing an increase in donations and oral histories from the swell of former U.S. prisoners of war eager to leave their legacies. But museum officials still worry that too many POWs approaching their late 80s and 90s will go to their graves without publicly telling their stories.

The National Prisoner of War Museum, in Andersonville, Ga., said it expects to have a 40 percent increase in artifacts, journals and other donations from former POWs this year compared to last year. Primarily, those contributions are coming from those who fought in World War II.

The number of U.S. POWs in World War II, about 130,000, dwarfs those from other wars. There were about 7,000 POWs in the Korean War, and about 725 in the Vietnam War. World War II ended more than 60 years ago, and the number of U.S. POWs is shrinking fast.
read more here
Ex-POWs battle against time to tell stories

Thursday, November 20, 2008

After 63 years, vet learns of brother's death in Nazi slave camp because of story on CNN

Bernard "Jack" Vogel died in a Nazi slave camp in the arms of fellow U.S. soldier, Anthony Acevedo, in 1945.

After 63 years, vet learns of brother's death in Nazi slave camp
Story Highlights

U.S. soldier, Bernard "Jack" Vogel, died at a Nazi slave camp in April 1945

His younger brother, Martin, had long sought details about his final moments

With CNN's help, Martin was put in touch with the medic who held his brother

The U.S. Army has never officially recognized the 350 soldiers held at the slave camp

By Wayne Drash Senior Producer

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- For 63 years, Martin Vogel longed for information about how his only brother -- his best friend and a fellow U.S. soldier -- died in World War II.

He knew that Bernard "Jack" Vogel had tried to escape from a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp, but the details were sketchy. Martin was so devastated after the war, he didn't ask too many questions. But as time passed, his thoughts often drifted to his brother.

"A month doesn't go by that it doesn't come up in the course of my own thoughts," said Martin Vogel, now 82. "But to me, it's always there: What if this? Why didn't he do this? And what happened to him? And that's what bothered me."

The Boston resident read an article last week on about Anthony Acevedo, a World War II medic who was among 350 U.S. soldiers held in a Nazi slave camp called Berga an der Elster, where dozens of soldiers were beaten, starved and killed. Less than half survived captivity.
In the piece, Acevedo mentioned a soldier by the name of Vogel who died in his arms.
Listen as Acevedo tells Martin Vogel: "I had him in my arms" »

For the first time in his life, Martin Vogel was about to learn the truth about his brother's death.

By week's end, he would also learn about his uncle's undying love for his brother -- and what he believes is the ultimate betrayal by the country his brother died for, the United States of America.

"You don't know how much this means," Martin Vogel said between sobs. "You don't know how much this means."
go here for more

Listen as Acevedo tells Martin Vogel: "I had him in my arms" »
The story
For 63 years, Martin Vogel longed for information about how his only brother -- his best friend and a fellow U.S. soldier -- died in World War II.

He knew that Bernard "Jack" Vogel had tried to escape from a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp, but the details were sketchy. Martin was so devastated after the war, he didn't ask too many questions. But as time passed, his thoughts often drifted to his brother.
"A month doesn't go by that it doesn't come up in the course of my own thoughts," said Martin Vogel, now 82. "But to me, it's always there: What if this? Why didn't he do this? And what happened to him? And that's what bothered me."

Read full article »

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Norman Bussel, Yorktown ex-POW describes struggles

Yorktown ex-POW describes strugglesLower Hudson Journal news - West Harrison,NY,USA
By Brian J. Howard
The Journal News • November 9, 2008


A few months after he was liberated from a German prisoner-of-war camp, Norman Bussel was invited to a wedding he just couldn't bring himself to attend.

Bussel wasn't doing well, the trauma of the past year still painfully fresh for him. Still, the pilot from his bomber crew was getting married in Atlanta and Bussel thought he could make it.

But five days before the wedding, he received a letter from the sister of his navigator, one of four fellow crew members killed when their B-17 was shot down over Berlin. She didn't understand how six men could make it off the plane while four others could not.

"To me, the implication was that I'd stepped over his dead body and just left him," Bussel, now 85, said in the living room of his Mohegan Lake home.

From the time he'd boarded in Rattlesden, England, on April 29, 1944, until the time he bailed out, the 19-year-old technical sergeant saw only one other crew member, and then only briefly while they were over the English Channel. He never heard a bail-out order, never even left his radio room until he leapt from the plane.

It exploded seven seconds later, as he was counting to 10 before pulling his parachute cord.

After reading that letter, Bussel skipped the wedding and went on a two-week drinking binge.

He recounts that day, including his subsequent capture by angry villagers, in moving detail in his book, "My Private War: Liberated Body, Captive Mind - A World War II POW's Journey," published yesterday by Pegasus Books.

A journey is what he shares, from his enlistment at 18 over his mother's objection to his grueling detainment in Stalag Luft IV in eastern Germany.

The story doesn't end with the camp's liberation by Gen. George S. Patton's tank corps, though. That comes a little more than halfway through the book. What follows is the story of his long struggle with survivor guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"My medication of choice was alcohol," the Memphis, Tenn., native said. "I expect if drugs had been around then I'd have done them as well."
click link for more

Sunday, September 21, 2008

140 POW's from multiple wars gather together

POWs from multiple wars gather

The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Sep 21, 2008 10:01:42 EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — About 140 men who were prisoners of war met in Kansas City this weekend to share their stories and some camaraderie.

Many of the veterans at the 61st national convention of the American Ex-Prisoners of War served during World War II including some who were in German POW camps and others who survived the Bataan Death March — the 1942 march of thousands of American and Filipino prisoners by the Japanese.

Others attending the convention, which runs through Sunday, were POWs in the Korean or Vietnam wars.

Despite their special bond, the veterans didn’t come to Kansas City just to share war stories, said Paul Dillon of Maryland Heights, Mo.

“These guys will not let you call them heroes,” said Dillon, who attended with his father, Red Dillon, a ball-turret gunner on a B-17 bomber that was shot down over Europe during World War II. “These are ordinary people who showed the greatest valor by simply enduring under extraordinary circumstances.”