Happy Father's Day

In: The Lonestar Weekly   Posted 06/16/2019

It's Father's Day this weekend, and like many of you who have lost a father, I get to thinking about my dad.

He served in World War II as a B-17 pilot flying in the 303rd Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force stationed in Molesworth, England. They were known as the Hell’s Angels.

The 303rd was a force to be reckoned with, to be sure. They flew a record of 364 combat missions during the war, and of course, they did it before the advent of the technology that we've come to take for granted like laser- and GPS-guided munitions.

Their success was not without great cost. They sustained more than 150 missing in action, and 764 of them were captured and were prisoners of war.

My dad was one of them.

On his 26th mission, his plane was hit several times by enemy fire. He and the rest of the crew bailed out at 20,000 feet, and they were captured near the French border and sent to Stalag XIII-D, a POW camp in Nuremburg, in what can only be described as awful conditions.

After several months, he was liberated by General Patton's army, and he came home to Texas where he met my mother in Corpus Christi and got married.

Even with all he went through, and like so many of his generation, my dad didn't talk about it much during his lifetime, but his story was ultimately a happy one.

So this weekend I'll be thinking a lot about my dad. If your father's still around, I hope you'll give him a call.

Happy Father's Day.