It is appropriate that this veteran told his story, without an interviewer “coaching” the interview with aimless questions.
A very informative session regardless of whether or not the viewer is “well read” as regards WW II. About 13:15 in this session, the veteran is talking about a rather harrowing experience; the senator he mentions retired from office in April 2008. A brief background of the Senator’s service in WW II follows:
Excerpt taken from thestate.com, dated Sept 27, 2012; a column referring to an Honor flight he took to D.C.
“On July 26, 1944, John “Ace” Drummond, a P-47 fighter pilot from Ninety Six, was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire and spent the remainder of World War II in a German prisoner of war camp.”
From capitolwords.org – 4-15 2008, in a tribute to Mr. Drummond, who was retiring from being a Senator. For reasons unknown, the date of his being shot down conflicts with the above excerpt.
In March 1944, the 510th received its orders to report to Christchurch, England, to begin its service on the war front. By May, John was flying reconnaissance and combat missions over the German-occupied Normandy area of France. He rose to the rank of Captain and was a fighter commander. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, John was in the midst of the invasion protecting the ships that were attacking the beaches of Normandy.
On July 29, 1944, John’s plane was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire, and he managed to escape the burning plane, although his parachute didn’t open fully due to his close proximity to the ground. Although injured, John rolled into the bushes, but was soon captured by German soldiers. He became a POW and was sent to a camp in Germany where he remained in horrid conditions until May 13, 1945.
When he returned to the United States after his liberation, John spent time recovering in a military hospital from severe malnutrition and other ailments related to his time in the POW camp. If Mr. Drummond is still alive, he’s 96 years old.