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.
Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Crew Chief | 445th Bomb Group
Crashed near Unterweit on a mission to Gotha, GR on 24 Feb 1944 in B-24H #41-29117 'Lady Marie'. Prisoner of War (POW).
M.A.C.R. (Missing Aircrew Report) # 2555
Units served with
The 445th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Tibenham, Norfolk. The crews' first mission was bombing U-boat installations at Kiel on 13 December 1943. The Group continued to hit strategic targets in Germany, including the aircraft components factory...
B-24 "LADY MARIE" SHOT DOWN OVER GERMANY ON 24 FEB 1944
Military site : airfield
Tibenham was built in 1941-1942 by W and C French Ltd with a standard 2,000 yard main runway, and two other runways both 1,400 feet in length. Accommodation was provided for a full USAAF heavy bomber group in dispersed sites. Personnel of the 320th...
||October 1943 – 24 February 1944
|Taken as a Prisoner of War (POW)
||24 February 1944 – 1945
|Taken to an Army General Hospital
||Oxford, Oxford, UK
|Staying in accommodation
||Leicester Square, London WC2H 7BZ, UK
||May 1945 – June 1945
|Left the UK for the USA