George L Harlow

Military

George Harlow served as a Radio Operator with the 445th Bomb Group.



His aircraft was shot down on a mission to Gotha, Germany on 24 Feb 1944 and he was taken as a Prisoner of War (POW).

The B-24H #41-29117 'Lady Marie' crashed near Unterweit.



George was taken to Stalag Luft III. He had to take part in a grueling forced march in 1945.

In his Veterans History Project interview he talks about the conditions of that march - hardly being fed, never being given different clothes or allowed to wash in 3 months, what it feels like to walk chained to the man in front and the man behind, digging shelters in the snow, digging for potatoes to eat...



...he came through all of this and was in London for VE Day.



In June he was transported back to the USA in a US Navy LST in a journey that took 16 days. Again in his VHP interview, George talks about he and his friends raced to get home quickly and yet were put in the slowest transport to get there!



About 30 minutes in he says of his time as a POW:

"You learn a different way of life and you make friends".



As of February 2014 he was the only member of 117 flight crew still alive.

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

A pathfinder B-24 Liberator (serial number 42-51681) of the 453rd Bomb Group flies in formation with a fellow Liberator of the 453rd and and a pathfinder Liberator of the 445th Bomb Group. Image via Alan Rowsell.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 445th Bomb Group 702nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 39255636
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner / Crew Chief

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Lady Marie
  • Unit: 2nd Combat Bomb Wing 445th Bomb Group 702nd Bomb Squadron

Places

  • Site type: Prisoner of war camp
  • Known as: Stalag Luft VI, Heydekrug
Signal Squares on the airfield at Tibenham, B-24 Liberators of the 398th Bomb Group are visible in the background. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Tibenham Signal Squares.'
  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Tivetshall

Related media

  • Media Type: Video
  • Object Number: UPL 16287
  • Description: Interview with George L Harlow, Radio Operator with the 445th Bomb Group and former POW.

Events

Event Location Date Description

Other

Taken as a Prisoner of War (POW)

Germany 24 February 1944

Born

Waukegan, Illinois

Based

Tibenham 24 February 1944

Other

Taken to an Army General Hospital

Oxford, Oxford, UK

Other

Staying in accommodation

Leicester Square, London WC2H 7BZ, UK

Other

Left the UK for the USA

Plymouth, UK

Revisions

Date
ContributorLucy May
Changes
Sources

Combined two entries into single entry. Now includes information from the following sources:
http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/77040

Other details from Illinois VHP interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozqTulH1tTI

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2555, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces & page 288 in THE SECOND AIR DIVISION, 1998 edition, D790.A2S45