In Hiding

Last weekend my family and I went to an aviation museum that is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. There was hardly anyone there. I was on one side of the museum with my dad and uncle, while my sister and mom were near the P-40 Warhawk, one of Haley's favorite planes. Haley's a good eavesdropper and heard an older man and his daughter talking about his 90 hours of training in a P-40 Warhawk during WWII. She came running over to us with her signature over the top excited expression. "There's a WWII vet over there who flew a P-40 Warhawk!"

 Quick as a wink we were at Eugene's side, hearing stories and snapping pictures!
“Somehow I was going to be a pilot. We lived on a farm—a dollar a week if you’re lucky—you weren’t going to go far on that. Then Uncle Sam came along. They were going to make a radio mechanic out of me … I’d still be working on the first radio! They needed pilots. There were five of us and away we went.” 

His plane went down in Italy and the Italians hid him for 5 months and 5 days. He first went into hiding in a farmhouse, then was taken to a church.

"After twenty-one days or so, I had a girl on each arm. They were taking me someplace. They took my insignia because there's Nazis around. 'Buongiorno comrade.' We kept on walking. We went to the side of a church, went up the stairway and what do they do? They put me with two Polish boys that had deserted from the Nazis. So if we'd ever been caught that whole town would have been leveled."

It was such a blessing to hear his story, shake his hand, and thank him for his service. You just never know who you'll run into!
-Emily

2 comments

  1. Something about his words and the fact that you, someone of my own age, heard these words fresh from the lips of someone who lived this piece of history is giddily thrilling!

    I'll be looking forward to more on your project with excitement. :)

    Good fortune on your mission!

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    1. I'm always in awe when I speak with a WWII vet! They're amazing. Thanks for reading!

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