North Alabama WWII veterans prepare to return to Europe for trip of a lifetime

Six World War II heroes are departing for Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany on Friday for a Trip of Honor provided by Forever Young Senior Veterans in Alabama.

Posted: Sep 6, 2019 4:07 PM

Six local World War II heroes are departing for Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany on Friday for a Trip of Honor provided by Forever Young Senior Veterans in Alabama.

The send-off party will be Friday at the Huntsville International Airport on the second floor, outside of security, at 11:30 a.m. They will return at 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, September 14th.

Jim Feezel: 93 years old, U.S. Army, Fought in France and Germany, Tank Command with the 12th Armored Division, 23rd Tank Battalion, his tank tore down the gas chamber door at Dachau. Rank: Sgt.

Charles Henry, 93 years old, Quartermaster, Guarded POWs here in the states because when he went to volunteer to be a paratrooper (with only a 10% survival rate), he was told that they didn’t train Negroes. He volunteered anyway! He has always lived vicariously through his veteran “brothers," but we wanted to show Charles our appreciation for his contribution and sacrifice!

Harold McMurran, 95 years old, WWII and Korea, 3rd Army, 546 Ord. HM Field Artillery. Infantryman, Instrument repairman, and truck driver. Normandy, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Rank: Army: T/5 Army, Air Force: Tech Sgt. “Moving up the front lines, our company stopped at a kitchen, which had food prepared by German prisoners. We ate mashed potatoes they had laced with cyanide. I was in a French hospital for a week.”

Earl Miller, 96 years old, WWII and Korea, Army Air Corps, 364th Fighter Group, 384 Fighter Squadron, Normandy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany Fighter Escort, close air support, transportation interdiction, Distinguished Flying Cross. “I shot down the Fock-Wulf Fw 190’s in aerial combat and protected flights of bombers going to and from Germany on a daily basis. Once I got separated from my squadron over Germany in the clouds and headed home alone. I later saw a large flight of fighter aircraft heading toward England and slowly fell into place at the very end. I noticed the pilot next to me was staring intently at me as if something was horribly wrong with my aircraft. It was only after I did some cover assessment of the situation that I realized those planes were Germans! I just waved at him and disappeared into some nearby clouds. I wonder what he told them later. At times, we would have to fly very low to evade flak or strafe. Once I got a thrown pitchfork stuck in my wing and another time I was chewed out for getting wheat chaff and mud in my radiator scoop on the underside of my P-51 because I flew so low.” Rank: Lt. Col.

George Mills, 97 years old, U.S. Army, 109th Infantry Btn. Infantryman attached to the 28th Infantry Division, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and French Legion of Honor Medal. “Fought at the front lines at the city of Fouhren during the start of the Battle of the Bulge and was captured as a POW on December 18, 1944, at a farmhouse. The children of this farmhouse we defended before capture are still living there today. As a POW, I learned to milk a cow when I was put up in a barn for a night after walking across Germany. The farmers cursed the German guards for the cow being out of milk. One day when walking across Germany with no food for weekend covered in lice, I dropped lice down the back of a German officer when we stopped for a break to hide from US planes. The next day the fat German officer was itching from the lice like the POWs.” Rank: Sgt.

Major Wooten, 102 years old, 764th Railway Shop Btn. Worked in military repair, working on hospital and freight cars. “I got into trouble because I’d call myself Major Wooten. They would say, ‘You are a private, not a major.’ Major was my name and I did have some fun with it.” Rank: PFC

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