Date of Interview
Rodney Shogren was born 14 October 1921 in Taylors Falls, Minnesota; he grew up in the neighboring town, smaller town, of Shafer, Minnesota. Rodney attended local schools and graduated from Lindstrom High School in 1940. In August 1942, he was inducted in the US Army Air Corps. In the Air Corps, Rodney served as waist gunner on B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine heavy bombers. By late 1943, he was in England, with 410th Bomb Squadron, 94th Bomb Group, part of the 8th Air Force. He flew his first mission in December 1943. By March 1944, Rodney had completed fifteen combat missions. During a mission to Berlin on 8 March 1944, though, Rodney's B-17 was shot down over Germany. He parachuted out safely, and was captured when he landed. Rodney spent the remainder of the war as a POW. As a prisoner, Rodney first was interrogated at the central Dulag Luft facility. He then spent time at Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug (until July 1944) and Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow. When the Germans evacuated this latter camp on 6 February 1945, some eight thousand men were marched westward, in small groups, towards central Germany. Rodney was in a group of POWs that marched until 26 April 1945, some eighty-nine days, until liberated by advancing US forces. American forces evacuated freed US troops to France, then to the US. Rodney remained some time in hospitals recovering from his ordeal as a POW, then was discharged in October 1945. Again a civilian, Rodney got married in 1946 (wife Eleanor) and helped to raise six children. He worked several years as a carpenter (1946-51), the spent until 1980 with the US Postal Service in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Thomas Saylor, Department of History, Concordia University, St. Paul.
Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Rodney Shogren" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 73.