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"Air Classics" Article

Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:13 pm

If anyone subscribes to "Air Classics" magazine, check out the article titled "So What".

The article is a condensed version of my Uncle Kenneth's diary from WW-II when he was shot down in a P-51 and taken prisoner by the Germans.

Only a portion of the diary is quoted. My mother has the complete diary and reading it entirely is amazing. He had steel blue eyes, looked German and spoke some German (his mother, my grandmother was 100% German). He befriended his captors by trading Red Cross cigarettes and chocolates for meat and vegetables. The Germans didn't have a lot to eat either so trading for meat was a big deal. Later in life, one of his German captors saw his name and contacted him (he was a Detective for the City of Cleveland). The German had been in a Russian POW camp after the war. The stories he told my uncle about the treatment of German POW's was disturbing.

His reference to "Brother Bennie" is my other Uncle Bernard. He flew a Glider (Flying Coffin) during the D-day invasion. He actually made it home only to be killed in an auto accident shortly after his return.

I am fortunate to have been so close to veterans like him. I also worked many years for a ME-109 Luftwaffe pilot who gave me another perspective of the subject. Both men harbored no hate for anyone. They only wanted to fly.
474218, Carl, You will be missed.

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