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Home > Author > Donald E. Casey
Donald E. Casey

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Member Since: Jun, 2010

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  Donald E. Casey

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Why did I join the army? "To Fight For My Country, Sir!"

Background Information

I volunteered for the Aviation Cadet program of the U.S. Army Air Corps in December, 1942 at age 18 and was called for active duty in February 1943. On completing aerial navigation school on October 23, 1943 I was commissioned a 2d Lieutenant and was awarded my silver navigator's wings, still age 18 by two weeks. I flew as a navigator in B-17 " Flying Fortress" bombers on 28 combat missions out of England with the 379th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force until June 18, 1944 when my aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and myself and four crew members survived while the other four were killed in action that day by vengeful civilians on the ground in Hamburg, Germany. I was captured by German soldiers and spent six months in Stalag Luft III (South Compound) the "Great Escape" prison camp in Zagan, Poland with 10,000 captured Allied flying officers. On January 27, 1945 Russian Army troops approached Zagan and were close enough for me and my fellow prisoners to hear the explosions of the cannons from less than 20 miles away. Me and my fellow prisoners were evacuated westward under armed guard on foot in a subzero blizzard and via cattle- car train to Stalag VII-A at Moosburg, in Bavaria. 110,000 flea-ridden Allied POW's and myself were finally liberated by General George Patton's 3rd Army on April 29, 1945 and rescued amid starvation, exposure and disease. On returning to the United States in June of 1945, I was mustered out of the Army in time to enroll in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the Fall where I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in June 1948. After College I worked briefly in New York as a trainee in the investment banking business after which I was transferred by my company to Denver, Colorado for three years. In 1952 I returned to my home city in Chicago, Illinois where I worked for a large life and health insurance company for three years while attending law school at the University of Loyola graduating in 1957. 


Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics

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