Prisoner of War recalls moments in captivity

Prisoner of War recalls moments in captivity

Mack Fitzgerald enlisted in the Air Corps during World War II. He never thought he would end up a Prisoner of War.

“It's true that you relive your past in just a few minutes when you think you're going to die,” said Fitzgerald.

He flew to several places like England and Libya, but on his mission trip to Romania, he was told to fly at tree level to hit the oil refineries. 

“The purpose to fly low-level was to make sure we hit the target,” said Fitzgerald.

He says out of 1,500 people who went on that trip only 110 survived. His aircraft managed to land in a wheat field. 

“We pulled pumpkin vines right over the back of us so we couldn't be seen if they were searching, and sure enough, one of the Romanian soldiers walked toward us and right by me on my right side,” said Fitzgerald.

After hours of walking around to no avail, he says he turned himself in.

He was in a prison camp for about 13 months.

He said they weren’t abused or treated any differently than the Romanian soldiers, but they dug holes in the ground to try to tunnel out.

They would do anything to hide the sand, hiding it in the walls, and even stuffing it under their clothes.

“We would put it in pillowcases with a hole in it and go out and dribble it out as we walked,” said Fitzgerald.

Like many veterans, Fitzgerald wears his hat proudly.

On Friday, members of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center will honor Prisoners of War and remember the nearly 83,000 men who are still missing.

Friday's event takes place at the Auditorium in the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin. It starts at 1 p.m., and is open to the public, including all veterans and their families.


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