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“The more I think about it, the more I get a little disgusted, even talking about it…but I’ll tell you what, I was very, very lucky.” (video interview, 26:28)

   Ralph Earl Moulis
Image of Ralph Earl Moulis
Ralph Moulis, 2002
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps
Unit: 306 Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
Service Location: Bedford, England; Seoul, Korea
Rank: Second Lieutenant
POW: Yes
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After flying 25 missions with the 306th Bomb Group out of Bedford, England, Ralph Earl Moulis was eligible to rotate back to the United States. But several members of his crew had not yet flown as many missions, and he chose to remain in England until the entire crew was eligible to return stateside. On his 28th mission, he was shot down and taken prisoner by German forces. Though he eventually escaped, his 14 months as a prisoner of war left an indelible mark, impacting his personal relationships, his ability to sleep and his physical health.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (30 min.)
  Photos
»Photo Album  (1 photo)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Shot down on 28th mission; taken prisoner, held in Stalag 17B; escaped and hid until the war ended. (02:05) Receiving a letter from his father; meeting a German who broadcast his name and status as a POW over the radio. (00:41) Fellow prisoners killed during an escape attempt; dealing with stress while imprisoned; hiding out in Austria near the end of the war; narrowly avoiding capture by German soldiers. (02:50)
Effects of trauma on life; multiple marriages; trouble sleeping; flashbacks; impact on physical health. (03:05)  
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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