A Warner Robins couple found love for the second time nearly 60 years after the end of World War II.
“We are now at war with Germany,” Edna Hicks remembers hearing.
Those words came over the radio while nine-year-old Edna was listening to the news with her older brother and younger sister. Ironically, their parents weren't home, but were at church praying for peace.
Soon after, the bombings started in London in 1940.
“It was sort of unreal in a way, the air raid sirens were sounded when the airplanes were overheard. So, you would hear the sirens in the distance. And you would hear them getting louder and louder,” Edna said at her Warner Robins dining room table.
She says her family and north London home got lucky over the nine months of bombing, besides shrapnel in the roof, they suffered no major damage, only close calls.
Her father one night didn’t go to the shelter near his job, that same evening it was hit directly with a bomb killing everyone inside. Another day, a delayed-explosive bomb fell between homes near Hicks’. She said if it had gone off like it was supposed to, it would have been deadly.
“God saved me. I truly believe that, and our family,” Edna said.
Little did she know, her future husband was flying B-17s for the Americans over Germany.
Crawford Hicks flew his first mission in May of 1944, but just weeks later came disaster.
“They hit me on the two right engines on the right wing,” Crawford remembers a German fighter coming straight at them.
Crawford and his crew parachuted out and were captured almost immediately. Nine of them survived the attack and subsequent capture. The crew’s bombardier, Wilbur Kunz, was killed during the aerial attack.
Crawford Hicks spent 11 months in German military prison camps. He says besides the lack of food, they were treated well and weren't beaten or tortured.
They were able to get news of the Allied advances over a covert radio.
When liberation came in April of 1945, it was a welcome sight.
“And I tell people, and I'm telling from here on, I cried. Because that flag meant so much to us, that flag meant we were free, we were going to go back home, we were good, it meant we were okay,” Hicks remembered.
It was General Patton and his tanks that liberated Hicks’ German camp.
Fast forward nearly 60 years after their first spouses passed away, the two ran into each other at a Warner Robins' Officer's Club in 2003.
“I got up to get something to eat at the buffet and this man came up beside me and he said to me, 'is that chicken or shrimp?' What a line!” Edna said laughing.
She says that she emailed a mutual friend after the exchange, asking if Crawford was a good man, then it was time to date.
In October of that year they were married and now share 11 great grandchildren.
And though their story reached a happy ending, they don't want future generations to forgot how they got there.
“It's nice to know that other people want to know, because we could so very easily get into that same thing again. And be different, but still, we don't want that to happen,” Edna Hicks said next to her WWII veteran husband of 13 years.
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