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I grew up on a small farm that my parents owned in southeast Illinois. With the threat of war, my brother Ellis and I joined the Army Air Corps November 3, 1941. We trained to be navigators on a B-17. For several months, I trained on a B-17 with nine other men flying practice missions over the U.S. Then we flew from Florida to South America to North Africa to England. For my first (and last) mission on April 16, 1943 I was awakened to join another crew, replacing their navigator. Four of us parachuted down over France. Wounded and captured by the Germans, I spent almost two years as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III, near Sagan, Poland. After a forced march in blizzard conditions and a ride in a train cattle car, I spent my last three months at Stalag Luft VIIA, at Moosburg in southern Germany. The U.S. Army freed the 100,000 men imprisoned there on April 29, 1945. (Voyle Spence died November 18, 2009)

jaswilk

About the Author

J. (Spence) Wilkin
jaswilk Indiana, U.S.A.

My father, Voyle Spence, taped his stories. I transcribed them. Using family pictures, we put together this book and published it using blurb.com in the fall of 2009. It is available in large type and regular print. My father died November 18, 2009 at 91.

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phaeton

phaeton says

I was a long time friend of Voyle and he chose to share is life experiences with me. When I found that he had only shared these experiences with few I began to encourage him to preserve them for the ages. One day after church he proudly, and with his wry smile, gave me a small brown paper bag, "I put it all down on these tapes." he proclaimed. He later confided that his talented daughter was going to transcribe them into book form with some appropriate pictuyres. Happily she had it published a short time before his death. We are all indebted to her for her skill and love for her father. I have enjoyed reading his story and know that others will too. It is a priceless record of a true American!
My only regret was that he did not make a map of his POW travels and destinations but the experience of reading his story is very powerful. I recommend his book for Veterans, historians and those who want to learn of the sacrifices of his generation that preserved today's freedoms.
Richard R.

posted at 01:01pm May 16 PST

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