Honoring Their Sacrifice: Frank George

- Frank George, a World War II prisoner, was on the Honor Flight trip and has quite the story to tell.

Seeing Frank George at the World War II memorial in Washington DC is an incredible sight. It's amazing that the Endicott native survived the war.

George enlisted in the Army at the age of 21. He made a jump with the 82nd Airborne in Africa and then invaded Sicily.

"We were scattered so much at night and there were about 13 of us who got together and we held ground for a while, but the next day was just too much," said George.

And, so George was taken prisoner of war, ending up in a punishment camp and solitary confinement.

"There I learned what the Germans are all about. They would come and interview you and do things. They asked me about the bazooka. I said what do I know about the bazooka? I'm only a pfc and so on. They'd wake you up."

George was on the move constantly and did a lot of marching.

One day, he and a fellow prisoner named John from Virginia decided to escape from a farm. And, they did.

They were on their own for about a week, traveling at night and sleeping under pine trees in February.

They were questioned while walking one day. George spoke German fluently.

"I said we were at the dentist and were going back to camp. He said where are your papers. He looked and said go on. But the two guards who were with him were Italians and told the guard that we were not French. I said what's the matter with this guy. He would get a reward for taking us in. He convinced the guard to take us in. They said we were lucky they caught us because if the Russians caught us they would have sent us to Siberia."

George became a prisoner of war for the second time. In total, he spent 22 months as a P.O.W.

Finally, he and another serviceman from Cleveland escaped again and eventually met the Britsh in Hanover.

"That night we climbed into a haystack. That day they moved back to the east. We stayed until they got out of sight. We knew the tracks were east and west and we ran and ran all day and we finally heard the rumble," said George. "This was hide and seek. We hear the clump, clump on the road and we hid. And, the next thing we hear is English. I said let's go. They didn't believe us. But, anyway, they finally they decided we were."

The trip to Washington, D.C. recently was the first time George saw the war memorials.

"I really didn't expect all this. It's remarkable. I'm glad I came and will do it again, God willing."

For the men like George, the memorial can't help but trigger memories of his sacrifice.

"Memories that I want to forget, that's all, mostly. Nothing there that I said, I did, this and that, just thank God I'm here. That's all."

Frank George is 94-years-old.

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