Imagined Feelings in Becoming a POW

(Posted: February 22, 2011)

Throughout the years of research and writing my book, I tried to imagine the feelings of not being able to finish the war as an air crewman and being doomed to the role of a prisoner of war.  Every one of these guys wanted to fly their required missions and go home.  They were proud to undertake these flights to their targets and help in the effort to win the war and they wanted to continue to do so.  I tried to imagine how they felt at the moment they realized that they’d flown their last mission because they were hit by enemy fire and forced to “bail out” over unfriendly territory.  I wondered would that mean that the pride they felt in their missions disappeared if they could not evade capture to continue them?  The statistics of them completing all of the required missions were gloomy and how brave they were, and what courage that it took, to fight the battle of survival after being captured when any chance of escape disappeared.  It doesn’t seem possible that anyone should lose their pride (if they did) because of their unlucky fate.  I wonder if this is why my father never talked about his wartime years; that he felt misguided shame for not being able to escape and becoming a POW.  I hope not.

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