Valentine Zurawski was born in Chicago, IL on February 14, 1921. He enlisted in the US. Army on the 24th of September, 1942. Received his basic training in Camp Livingston, LA, also in Camp Pichet, VA under commanding officer Major General Brown.
After training, he was shipped overseas and served as a Truck Driver in Co. B, 103rd Regt. 28th Div. in Normandy, Northern France. He was captured on the 17th of December, 1944 in Belgium. When he became a POW the Germans took his good shoes and he walked in stocking feet until he got a pair of shoes that did not fit and were full of nails and holes.
They walked for two nights and days, no food, drink, or sleep. After that he rested and was given two slices of stale bread and was marched into boxcars and kept there for eight days. The R.A.F. bombed the boxcars and killed 40 Americans.
The ninth day they pulled out and rode in the boxcars for three days heading for Germany and arriving at Stalag IV. That night he was taken into a barn and slept without covers in the cold. Then he got a shot in the chest that made him sick and weak for a month. He stayed in the barn for 1 1/2 months and then walked again for two months averaging 25 miles a day with only raw potatoes and some stale bread to eat. While sleeping in barns, he picked up lice and was not treated for them.
On April 12, 1945 the Americans liberated him but before he was released he was kicked and hit with the butt of a rifle. He weighted 160 lbs. when captured and 95 lbs. when he was liberated.
Valentine Zurawski passed away on December 14, 1998, leaving behind a wife, Irene, and a daughter, Christine.