Date of Interview
Warren Claypool was born 18 January 1919 on the family farm in Ottertail County, Minnesota, one of five children. He grew up on the farm and attended local schools. Warren entered the US Army Air Corps in 1942, and was trained as an engineer/top turret gunner on B-17 Flying Fortress 4-engine heavy bombers. By late 1943 he was in England, part of the 526th Bomb Squadron, 379th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. The 526th Squadron flew from Kimbolton, England. Warren flew his first mission in October 1943, and continued to fly missions until his B-17 was shot down on 13 May 1944 over German-occupied Denmark, while on a mission to the northern German port city of Stettin. All nine crew members survived the crash, and were taken prisoner by the Germans. As a POW, Warren was first taken to the Dulag Luft interrogation facility, then to Stalag Luft IV, located at Gross Tychow, in far northern Germany. With advancing Soviet forces nearby, the Germans evacuated Luft IV on 6 February 1945. Prisoners were then marched around Germany in small groups; Warren was not at another POW camp. This group of marching POWs was liberated on 26 April 1945 by the American 104th Infantry Division. Warren spent a brief period at a US Army camp in France, then one in England, before being transported back to the United States. He spent some time recuperating from his months as a POW, then was discharged in late 1945. Again a civilian, Warren returned to life as a farmer. He and his wife Brenda raised a family of eight children.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Warren Claypool" (2005). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 16.