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"Christmas 1943 was one of joy and sadness. The joy of being alive and celebrating Christmas under adverse conditions. Sadness thinking how my parents must feel." (Memoir, page 87)

   Dean M. Sommers
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Dean Sommers[Summer 1945]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps
Unit: 92nd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
Service Location: European Theater
Rank: Technical Sergeant
POW: Yes
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Though he grew up in land-locked Kansas, Dean Sommers determined to enlist in the Navy soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His color-deficient vision excused him from that branch of service, and when he was drafted in 1942, he wound up in the Army Air Force. He volunteered for aerial gunnery school and by July 1943, he was flying missions as the ball turret gunner in a B-17 over Europe. His memoir details each mission up to Number 18 in November 1943, when he and the crew had to bail out over Norway with their plane running low on fuel. The locals hid him for a time, but German soldiers captured him, and he spent the rest of the war in an Austrian POW camp. His memoir includes letters he wrote home, as well as letters, poems, and art work by his fellow prisoners.

»The Sentimental Journey of Dean M. Sommers World War II.
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  October 26, 2011
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