My great Uncle Ed was shot down in WWII and was a POW.  A few weeks ago me and my son participated in Wreaths Across America at the cemetery where he is buried.  He was honored in the ceremony by his story being told.   I had never heard his story until that day.   

While I did have conversations before he passed about his time as a fighter pilot, he really only told me about his training, and not about the war.  I knew he was a POW but never asked him about it.  He passed in 2000.

While many from the Greatest Generation share their stories, most did not.  When I would ask my grandfather or papa about their time in the war, I was told they just did what was needed to be done and didn't get much more information then that.  Now that they are gone, I wished I would have asked more, as stories like this need to be told.

Enjoy the story, and yes there are trains involved, but only a small part.  If Rich or Arnold want to remove this thread I understand.

 

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The greatest generation!!  Fantastic story, especially him getting to fly both elite fighters of the war, and the Stalag guards protecting them from massacre.  Too bad all the stories of the war were not recorded.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

IMG_0946_zps175699c9Reading this story reminded me of a desire to create an O gauge 40&8 box car.  I know they were "buggy sprung" short wheelbase cars with only 4 wheels.   I had thought it might be possible to take a 6 inch Marx car and build a wooden coffee stirer body fashioned after the real 40&8 boxcars.  Any body who could improve on this basic design would be appreciated.

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MELGAR posted:

JDEVLEERJR,

What a story. Thanks for posting. I'd be interested to know what great uncle Ed did after the war. Did he continue to fly?

MELGAR

He did for the air Force for a few years.  Flew fighter jets out if Selfridge in Michigan.  


Home of the Michigan and Great Lakes Rail Road.

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All I can say is, "Wow"!!   Thank-you for sharing!

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 

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JD...   Thanks for sharing the riveting memories of your great uncle.  The little I know of my father's time in England, France and the Pacific islands is very precious to me.  Along with pics and letters I have, the knowing of what all went through during the war gives me all more reason to feel the blessing of what we, as Americans, have to be grateful for.  My father and I, as many others, spent many hours together running trains and building our layouts.  Always trains when Christmas came around, something to add each year, along with birthdays.  Yes, they were, are, the greatest generation and our debt to them immeasurable.

Jesse   TCA

It was a great story and read, and we should be thankful for those who were able to tell their stories and respectful to those who didn't or weren't able to.  In most cases these men, who were many times only boys but rose up to meet something they and those asking them to didn't fully understand, still aren't able to mentally fathom what they went through.  I had 3 great uncles who were in the war, my grandfather working for the SP was deferred 13 times and did not.  I listened when they told stories, asked questions when able, but never tried to pry.  I think the protective mechanisms in our brains for trauma make it near impossible for people to talk about.  They're not called The Greatest Generation for nothing, and we need to always share and celebrate them and their stories like these when available.

Thanks very much for sharing this!

Wow, there’s a lot to read here, all well written. Oh how lucky we are to have had intelligent young men, like  your uncle, to fight for our Country, with honor and dignity. I began reading your story and could not quit, very interesting, a moment by moment description of real life in harms way. Sometimes I think we simply take for granted our Freedom, it’s not really free. There’s someone out there, our Military, taking care of Us, and we should be so Thankful for this. We should all show Love to everyone we know, even if it hurts, because God is Love, He brought your Uncle home, against all Odds. Yes, there were many trains mentioned, and it’s because of model trains, that we know You. Thank you for bringing  this fantastic story to our attention. Amazing. May God Bless your family. I consider him an unspoken Hero. Happy Railroading 

WOW! Great Story! This would make a great movie or even a mini series.  Thanks for sharing.  You should be very proud.  I feel honored you've share it with all of us here.  We have such great people here on the forum.  Keep posting!

Steve

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