American Ex-Prisoners of War
A not-for-profit, Congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organization advocating for former prisoners of war and their families.

Established April 14, 1942



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Biography
Hurd, Robert Dale
Robert Hurd - 1944
Flight Engineer Robert Hurd
Robert Hurd 1998
Robert Hurd, 1998
 
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Biography
Robert D. Hurd, 8th Air Force, 94th Bomb Group, 331st Sqd., Flight Engineer, B-17. Air Medal, 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and POW Medal.

On our 23rd mission, August 6, 1944 over Berlin, three engines started blowing smoke, forcing us to fall out of formation and lighten the plane. Someone even threw out my chute (we found out later the crew that flew the plane before us put "over boost" on it and never reported it). The plane went about 425 miles on one engine. Ditching in the North Sea, it broke in two upon hitting the water in 8-10 ft. waves. My helmet was caught on a cable under the radio table, but I managed to pull free. All of this was done under water.

We recovered three rafts; however, we couldn't save the tail gunner. We were afloat about 26 hrs. before being rescued by a German sea plane. We were taken to the Fresian Islands, marched to a jail with two crewmembers to a cell. From there we traveled by boat and boxcar, finally arriving at POW camp Stalag Luft IV.

At this camp 24 POWs to a room, three to a bed. Food was scarce. We were given a dark green soup we called "Whispering Green Death." On February 6, 1945, we were walked from camp and marched about 500 miles. Along the way we slept on the ground and in barns and scrounged for food, whatever we could find or steal.

On March 26, 1945 we were liberated by General Terry M. Allen. From there to Lucky Strike. Finally arrived home in Columbia City on June 18, 1945.

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