Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don Lewis: Shot Down, POW, Force-Marched 84 Days in Winter/Spring 1945

My friend Don Lewis is another World War Two flier who deserves recognition, which is what this site is all about. This post's for you, Don.
Don was a gunner/armorer on a 15th Air Force B-17 that was shot down over the Alps on the Austrian/Italian border. Five of his fellow crewmen were killed in the incident. He spent several months in a hospital, then many more in a German prison camp. Near war's end, his German captors took all the men of Stalag Luft VI, in East Prussia, and forced them to begin marching away from the oncoming Russian forces. The prisoners marched from February 4, 1945 until May 2, a total of 89 days. During this time they received only the most meager rations, marched as much as 26 miles in one day, and never once stayed in a house or heated room, spending their nights in barns or in the open.

His story, which is copyrighted, can be read in its entirety at the following link http://wwiilectureinstitute.com. Simply click on Don's icon. I highly recommend reading this fascinating and well-written memoir. Don is the last surviving member of his crew.

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