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Century Club
Posts: 374
Reply with quote  #1 
...for saving the world, for us.

On this Day That Will Live in Infamy, 67 years later.....

If not for them, life would NOT be as we know it, but would be so very very different.

We owe them all so much....

Clem Johnson MC65

Posts: 289
Reply with quote  #2 
During the airwar over Europe if an American bomber was damaged and couldn't make it back to England, and didn't like the prospect of crash landing in Nazi Germany, the pilot might try for a landing in neutral Switzerland.  I think about 2,000 American airmen ended up being interned in Switzerland from 1943 to 1945.

According to the Rules of War, maybe the Geneva Convention, but I'm not sure, the airmen were required to stay in neutral Switzerland and could not be repatriated to their native country for the duration of the war.  Since the war effectively ended tourism the Americans were put up in ski resorts, two to a room with personal chefs.  They had the run of the town, and merely had to report in daily.  They received money from the U.S. government,  organized sports teams, had free language lessons, and became acquainted with many aspects of Switzerland, particularly its female population.

The truly amazing thing is large numbers of these men chose to give up this life of relative ease, cross into Nazi occupied France and, with the help of the French underground, try to make it back to their units in England and rejoin the war.  If they were captured by the Swiss they were put into a regular prison, if they were captured by the Germans they would either be shot, or put in a POW camp.   Definitely the greatest generation.


James E. Flaherty
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