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
Jenks, Lee T
Lee Jenks - 1943
Lee Jenks, 1943
Lee Jenks style=
Lee with his wife Doris, 1991
 
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After the War ...
Biography
Lee T. Jenks, born in Agawam, MA, November 16, 1920. Enlisted in the reserve corps, and on September 19, 1942 with the U.S.A.A.F. Went to basic training in Atlantic City, NJ, on September 23, 1942. He later went to Airplane Mechanics School in Lincoln, NE, and specialized in B-17s in Long Beach, CA. He also went to Gunnery School at Wendover Field, UT, Crew Formation in Moses Lake, WA, and Crew Training for B-17s at Geiger Field, Spokane, WA.

After his training, Lee was sent on the troop ship "Queen Elizabeth" from New York City to Glasglow, Scotland on his way to the home base of the 8th Air Force, 306th Bomb Group (H), 423rd Bomb Squad in Bedford/Thurleigh, England.

March 29, 1944, during Lee's 23rd mission, his crew's B-17, "The Wampus Cat," was hit over Brunswick, Germany . He bailed out southwest of Amsterdam, Holland but his leg was shattered by a 20-MM shell on the way down.

Upon landing Lee was met by young German teenager of the People's Army or Hitler Youth. The teenage put a pistol to Lee's head and pulled the trigger. There was only a click, luckily enough the gun had jammed, but while the teenage tried to fix the gun, he proceeded to kick Lee in the back and the injured leg until a group of Dutch women put themselves between Lee and the teenager. The women stayed with Lee until more Germans arrived with the rest of Lee's crewmembers.

Lee was taken to a German hospital were a doctor repaired his injured leg (without any anesthesia). Lee spent six months in Stalag Luft III hospital (Wilhelmina Hospital) and then moved to three other hospitals before he was exchanged for German POWs at Lake Constance in Switzerland.

He finally returned home on the hospital ship "The Gripsholm" on January 17, 1945 and was discharged on December 7, 1945 as a T/Sergeant.

Lee retired after 40 years as a Photographer and Studio Manager for Popular Club. He is a member of the Florida State Chapter #1 and is currently a State Jr. Vice Commander in Florida. He lives New Port Richey, Florida with his wife Doris, a National Service Officer for the American Ex-Prisoners of War.

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