Date of Interview
Dick Lewis was born 8 June 1922 in Faribault, Minnesota. He was raised in the town by his grandparents, and graduated from Faribault High School in 1941. After some months working in an aircraft manufacturing plant in California, Dick enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1942. In the Air Corps, Dick was trained as a waist gunner on B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bombers. He was assigned to 544th Bomb Squadron, 384th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, and sent to Grafton Underwood, England, a large base. Prior to leaving the US, Dick was married (June 1944, wife Elayne). On 7 November 1944, his seventh combat mission, Dick's B-17 was shot down over Germany. He bailed out, but had been badly injured when the plane was hit by German anti-aircraft fire. After capture, the Germans sent Dick to a German military hospital for POWs, Lazarett IX-C Meiningen, then to a recovery facility, Obermassfeld. He remained here until the end of February 1945, when he was sent to a POW camp near the city of Nuremberg. This camp was evacuated in early April, with US forces closing in; the POWs, Dick included, were marched south to VII-A Moosburg. This overcrowded camp was liberated by US forces on 29 April 1945. After evacuation to the US and discharge in late 1945, Dick used GI Bill benefits to attend the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He graduated with a degree in architecture, and spent a career in the field with various firms in the American Upper Midwest.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Dick Lewis" (2005). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 41.