Veteran Stories:
Frank Moore

Air Force

  • Frank Moore in uniform.

    Frank Moore
  • A map of Stalag IV-B, a German prisoner of war camp.

    Frank Moore
  • A map of Stalag IV-B, a German prisoner of war camp.

    Frank Moore
  • A view of the Stalag IV-B compound as winter approaches.

    Frank Moore
  • Prisoners standing outside the latrine.

    Frank Moore
  • Outside the wash house in winter garb at Stalag IV-B.

    Frank Moore
  • Four prisoners of war standing behind Frank Moore's hut.

    Frank Moore
  • Prisoners of war lining up for a thin broth they called "skilly."

    Frank Moore
  • A Russian prisoner of war searching an incinerator for food.

    Frank Moore
  • Prisoners of war watching as Allied aircraft fly overhead.

    Frank Moore
  • A view of the Polish women's camp.

    Frank Moore
  • An image of the Polish women's camp taken through a window enclosed with barbed wire.

    Frank Moore
  • A football game in progress inside Stalag IV-B.

    Frank Moore
  • A view of the street and front gate of the compound where Frank Moore imprisoned.

    Frank Moore
  • A German Ju-88 aircraft flies over Stalag IV-B.

    Frank Moore
  • A map to be used in case of an escape. Items such as these were considered contraband.

    Frank Moore
  • A map to be used in case of an escape. Items such as these were considered contraband.

    Frank Moore
  • A map to be used in case of an escape. Items such as these were considered contraband.

    Frank Moore
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"My turret was hit and broken open and knocked away, my helmet and communication gear went out the window and I realized then we would have to bail out."

Transcript

The enemy aircraft you had difficulty seeing and finding. The only aircraft we saw was the one that got us. Over Frankfurt [Germany], we'd just finished bombing Frankfurt and we were starting for home when we were attacked from underneath and it's the blind spots where nobody could see it. He hit us on the right wing and set the engines on fire. We took evasive action hoping to put the fire out. But he struck again from underneath a few minutes later. By this time I guess the pilot has realized that there wasn't much hope.

He's getting ready to arrange for the bailout and this fighter came straight from the rear and the rear gunner and I both saw him and we were able to shoot it down but it was too late by then. He hit—my turret was hit and broken open and knocked away, my helmet and communication gear went out the window and I realized then we would have to bail out so I got out the turret and went to the back and by the time I got out the turret, the flight engineer’s coming back from the front and pointed down.

So while I went and picked up my parachute, he opened the door and was ready to go. And I followed him out. I could see, there's a little light, we were above the clouds and so there was this light and I could see four or five other chutes in the air. So I knew most of them got out. Then I went through a slipstream and it turned out to be the fighter that had attacked us which we shot down. But I went through his slipstream and boy, that sure scared me. It almost flipped me over in fact. Then we got in the clouds and you couldn't see anybody else.

The weather was lousy, it rained all the time. But I tried to figure out where I was and where I want to head to. I'd walk at night and hide out in the daytime. But after five days I realized I wasn’t gonna make it that way so I went to a house and knocked on the door. They took me in and for the first while they—we spoke—I couldn't speak their language, they couldn't speak mine. But they gave me something to eat and they were quite civil to me.

Then they said they had to phone the army, which they did. Some German soldier came along and came and picked me up. Took some getting used to but once you accept into the fact that you were there and I'm gonna be there until the end of the war and the conditions were what they're going to be and you had to accept that and make the most of it. And the fellowship was good as long as the Red Cross parcels kept coming in, the food was livable.

We had stuff to do. Like the Red Cross parcels supplied—the Red Cross provided some playground equipment so we had a bat and a ball and a football and a few things like that. We knew the Russians were coming. Far away you could hear the guns going off and then one night the sounds were getting fairly close. You could hear it, you knew it was getting close. Then one morning we got up and the guards were is all gone.

A couple hours later there three Russian Cossacks on horseback with the Bren [light machine] guns slung in their arms while they came through the camp and we realized that the Russians had taken control of the area. We were told to stay in camp, not to try to get out and head for home because there was too much going on. There wouldn't be any rations, we had to live off the land. So we'd just have to go to get what we could if enough houses around us. Which wasn't very much actually—potatoes once in a while, a few things. Then the Russians gave us rations, the soup and the bread. That's about all we got from them.

Eventually another guy and I decided. The rumours are going around that we were—all the rumours you can think of were going around, that we were gonna have to go back up to Russia and whatnot. So we decided we'd—after about 10 days of this, we decided to take off under the fence. And we did and walked back west to the American lines.

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