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"You can't take things for granted. The old saying, 'It'll never happen to me,' is so foolish." (Video Interview)

   Donald G. Cassidy
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Donald G. Cassidy, 1940s
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps
Unit: 570th Squadron, 390th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
Service Location: European Theater; Krems, Austria
Rank: Technical Sergeant
POW: Yes
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Stalag 17 wasn't just a hit play and an Oscar-winning movie. It was a real POW camp, located near Krems, Austria, and home to thousands of Allied airmen from October 1943 to the end of the war. One of its residents was American aerial gunner Donald Cassidy, who was shot down over Germany in November 1943. Cassidy found he had to fashion his own food utensils, but he somehow managed to find enough to eat to keep his weight from dropping precipitously. The highlight of any day in Cassidy's barracks was a news report read out by a G.I. nicknamed Whitey; if no guards were within earshot, Whitey would offer the lowdown on the progress of Allied troop advances.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (46 min.)
»Photo Album  (2 photos)
 Personal Correspondence
»View List (8 items)
 Other Materials
»View List (4 items)
More like this
»POWs in Germany
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
First days in the POW camp. (03:31) Comparing conditions at his camp to those in others. (03:09) Getting news from the outside world; liberation. (07:29)
 Personal Correspondence (8 items)
From the Adjutant General [December 14, 1943] From Howard F. Bresee [15 March 1944] To Mr. M. A. Cassidy [23 June 1944]
To Mark Cassidy [June 4, 1944] To Mark Cassidy [July 28, 1944] To Mrs. M. A. Cassidy [October 11, 1944]
To Mark Cassidy [November 12, 1944] To Mr. And Mrs. M. A. Cassidy, May 14, 1945. Signed by Dwight Eisenhower [19 July 1960] 
 Other Materials (4 items)
Telegram to Mrs. M. A. Cassidy [June 13, 1945] News clipping at premiere of film "Stalag 17." Cover of notebook for course in "Practical Elec."
Map of Stalag XVIIB  

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  October 26, 2011
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