Wednesday’s Hero – POWs Recognized

Share

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 10.43.01 PMLt. Col. James Misuraca
Maj. James Moran
First Lt. Paul Gambaiana
First Lt. James Mahon
Tech. Sgt. Alva Moss
Staff Sgt. John Fox
Sgt. William Blackburn
Sgt. George Thursby

 

U.S. Army Air Forces
On April 30, 143 airmen, after a 70 year wait, were finally awarded the POW Medal they had earned. The 143 airmen were held captive in the Wauwilermoos prison camp in Switzerland. Of the 143, only eight were able to attend the ceremony:

“...A lifetime after they were held in a notorious internment camp in Switzerland, they would at last be recognized as prisoners of war.

These eight men and hundreds like them had once lived under the suspicion they had purposely bailed out of their bombers or crash-landed in neutral countries. At the height of the war, the chance of surviving a combat tour was as little as one in four.

Rumors of defection proved untrue. Those who ended up in Switzerland were forbidden to leave. Those caught trying to escape were sent to Wauwilermoos, a prison camp run by a Nazi sympathizer accused of war crimes. But because the POW medal recognized only service members held by enemies in declared armed conflicts, 143 airmen held at Wauwilermoos were ineligible.

Fifteen years of exhaustive research and dogged work by Army Maj. Dwight Mears ultimately led to an amendment recognizing as POWs any military member held captive under conditions similar to those held by the enemy in periods of armed conflict.

The medal was finally approved for 143 airmen held at Wauwilermoos in October. Mears’ grandfather, who died in the 1970s, was one of them.

On Wednesday morning, as a cool, steady rain fell outside, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh called Mears onto the stage to help present the POW medal to the eight who are still living….”

 

You can read more here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We’re In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don’t Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Wednesday Hero Logo

Share