|Gunner Edwin Huson||Edwin and Eleanor, 1998|
|Last Name: `
|Street: 7417 GOETTNER RD||City & State: KINGSVILLE, MD||E-Mail:|
|Zip: 21087-1646||Phone: 410-592-6393||Spouse: ELEANOR G|
|Conflict: WW II||Service Branch: Army Air Corp||Unit: 8 AF 92 BG 327 BS|
|Theater: ETO||Where Captured: GERMANY||Date Captured: 05/12/44|
|Camps Held In: LUFT 4||How Long Interned: 355 days|
|liberated / repatriated: liberated||Date Liberated: 05/02/45||Age at Capture: 20|
|Medals Received: AIR MEDAL, POW MEDAL, ETO MEDAL, GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL|
|Military Job: ENGINEER - GUNNER||Company: NATIONAL GUARD|
|Occupation after War: Technician|
Edwin S. Huson, born in Dallastown, PA entered the Air Corps, age 18. Oct. 28, 1942 from Baltimore, MD. Trained at Kessler Field, MS and joined the 411th Tech School Sqdn; took Airplane factory Sch for B-24’s in Willow Run, Ypsilanti, MI; then to Gunnery School, Harlingen, TX; and Combat Crew Training, in Dalhart, TX, assigned to Lt. Durward Marshall’s crew. After Combat Crew Edwin Trained in Kearney, NE and pick up a brand new B-17. The day before departure all planes were grounded and they boarded a train for Camp Kilmer, NJ. Embarked from NY on English ship Maueritina. They arrived in Southampton, England, sent to the wash for more gunnery training. The last week in April he went to Podington, and was assigned to the 92nd BG, 327th SQDN.
April 10th flew spare – no one aborted. Half way over the channel they turned back to the base. On May 11th they flew to Lillie, France, and dropped their load and came back, they took some flak but no fighters. May 12th they took off for Merseberg, and kept losing their engines on the way in and out, they made it as far as Koblenz where the crew bailed out. The Germans were waiting for Edwin to land.
He was captured by civilians and headed toward town, hit behind the ear with a fist, knocked to the ground and spit in the face. After being interrogated, he was once again hit in the mouth receiving a bloody nose, busted mouth, also punched like a punching bag, and told he would be hung before the war was over. As Edwin started down the stairs the guard kicked his feet out from under him and fell the rest of the day down.
May, 1944, Edwin was taken out of his cell, transported by boxcar, jammed with prisoners. With only a 5 gal. bucket that was provided for waste, which soon overflowed, making the stench terrible. When they reached Keifheide, he marched about a mile to Stalag Luft IV, Compound A. The food in camp was poor; for breakfast they had a cup of Ersatz coffee, black bread; lunch boiled potato or one cup dehydrated cabbage made into soup; supper boiled potato, sometimes nothing at all.
Feb 6, 1945, with only a short notice, they were told they were being evacuated to another camp. They left in three groups, A, C & D. Edwin marched with Compound C. Instead of making it to another camp they were marched 85 days on foot, on the “Black Death March” in bitter cold weather, snow, sleet, freezing rain, no shelters were provided. The only clothes they had were those they were wearing when they were evacuated. They were liberated by the British May 2, 1945, deloused, given a good hot meal. May 13th he was evacuated to Camp Lucky Strike, La Harve, France.
He retired after 30 years in the service (3 years active duty, 27 years Maryland National Guard Technician Service, 5 years State of MD Military Dept.) Married 51 years to the former Eleanor Elaine Green of Kingsville, Md. They have one son, Stephen Michael Huson, two grandsons, Matthew Stephen Huson and Jonathan Michael Huson.
|My Message to Future Generations:
Edwin, along with many others, faithfully served theirr country during World War II, suffered imprisonment and inhumane cruelty at the hands of our captors. All of this was in violation of the Geneva Convention, which conferred a protected status on prisoners of war. They persevered and recovered from these indignities, defied their captors again and again during life-threatening times. They paid a terrible price for serving our country but, Edwin has never regretted it. He proudly served in the Armed Forces as he believed, and still believe, we must live up to our obligation in order to ensure freedom of our country. He also strongly feels that the faith in God helped him to survive the torture, difficult conditions, especially the 85 day Forced March (called Black Death March). Many paid the ultimate sacrifice and did not return home. They deserve to never be forgotten. I pray that future generations will never have to face the ordeal of being a prisoner of war and that we will work to keep the peace. Edwin Huson
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