This makes me proud

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by SPEKTRE76, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. SPEKTRE76

    SPEKTRE76 Member

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    #1 SPEKTRE76, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    My Grandfathers grave marker. This is the man I share blood with. He was a tail gunner on B-17's during the battle of France or over France and was shot down and SURVIVED! He made it back to Allied forces by utilizing the U-Arm (type of underground railroad). He also learned a little bit of French too. He was an amazing man and taught how to be a man and stand up for myself. This is why he went from First Seargent to PFC because he knocked out his Lieutenent. Oh by the way he was a welter weight boxer for the USAAF. He taught me the proper way to shake hands like a man by necessity, LOL. When I was 14 he taught me this because he said my wrist felt limp. The grabbed my hand firmly and looked in my eyes and said this is how you shake hands like a man. I have never forgotten and practice it to this day.


    Can anyone help as maybe what unit he was in. All I remember him saying is that he was shot down over France.


    386574_125412130907444_398939803_n.jpg
     
  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    The shaking hands....my Dad did the same to me...

    Can't help ya man....but I can respectfully throw him a salute.....:salute:
     
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    RabidAlien Active Member

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  5. Jack_Hill

    Jack_Hill Member

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    #5 Jack_Hill, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    No way for any B-17 during the battle of France.
    Your Grandfather was shot down later over France, then kept in Germany as a POW maybe and escaped using U-
    Bahn.
    May your Grand dad rest in peace.
    You were anyhow a lucky Grand son, as learning someone boxing is a real great gift.
     
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    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Wurger Siggy Master
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  8. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    #8 Marcel, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
    How do you know he's been a POW? If you found him on a list then that would be a good startingpoint.

    If not, I think it's likely he never fell into enemy hands, but kept hidden like many Allied pilots. In that case it'll be much harder to find his aircraft and unit. For the rest, the info is a little thin. I don't have records of US Army personel. Maybe someone in the US does?

    Never heard about U-Arm, don't know where this info comes from. U-bahn is also not very likely as this is a german word an definatly no u-bahn went to neutral territory. These tracks usually are only in urban areas , not a likely place for a POW camp.
    I suspect a confusion in words.
    In resistance thermology, routes to neutral territory were often referred to as underground pipelines or tracks. I suspect therefor that your grandfather actually meant one of these pilotlines to Spain or Switserland.
     
  9. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The best way to determine what unit he was in would be to contact the National Archives, or the USAF group at Maxwell AFB. A good start is here:
    Veterans' Service Records
     
  11. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Great story. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  15. Jack_Hill

    Jack_Hill Member

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    Marcel,
    Yes, right, i don't know and was just guessing while trying to clear the story a bit.
    Yes, there are evident confusions in terms.
    Just a supposition, cause I never heard about any u-arm, even among resistance terms, nor you did it seems. So guessed U-bahn, wich exist in Germany, where almost all allied captured crews were kept.
    We both know U-bahn does not travel as far as SwitZerland or Spain.
    Though, your guessing is possible and i'm wishing the best in Spektre's researches.
     
  16. SPEKTRE76

    SPEKTRE76 Member

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    Hey thank you so much! No he was never a POW to my knowledge I just remember him telling me he was shot down over France and some civilians helped him get back.

    I used the term 'U-Arm' because that is what I learned about having attending S.E.R.E. in Brunswick, ME while I was still in the Navy as an Electronic Warfare Operator on board P-3C Orion's before I was force converted to Air Traffic Control.


    Yeah I got airsick you can tease me now :p
     
  17. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    You're welcome. Keep in mind too that it may take some time to get the records. They are usually volunteers who pull the files, and they are woefully understaffed.
     
  18. J dog

    J dog Member

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  19. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Never heard about pow camps in U-bahn tunnels. :)

    @Spektre, If you find out anything about your grandfather's experience in France, I would be very interested. Especially if he has been on the pilotline to Spain. This line was an international affair, running from The Netherlands through Belgium and France, all natonalities taking over in their respctive country. My grandfather has been working on this in The Netherlands. I collected quite a few stories of pilots following this path to freedom and would like to know if your grandfather has been on this one as well.
     
  20. Jack_Hill

    Jack_Hill Member

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    #20 Jack_Hill, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
    "Never heard about pow
    camps in U-bahn
    tunnels".
    Neither did I.
    Meant : kept in Germany (or German occupied territories)
     
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