John E. Price

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army Air Forces

HOMETOWN
Dallas, TX

HONORED BY
John C. Burkhardt, SVC MOPH, Chapter 1919, Austin, Texas

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

HE ENLISTED IN THE ARMY AIR CORPS AND REPORTED FOR DUTY AT SHEPHERD FIELD, WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS. SOON HE WAS CLASSIFIED AS A NAVIGATOR TRAINEE. HE THEN WENT TO SELMAN FIELD IN MONROE, LOUISIANA FOR PRE-FLIGHT TRAINING AND THEN TO THE PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS NAVIGATION SCHOOL, WHERE HE GOT HIS NAVIGATOR WINGS. NEXT HE WENT TO AVON PARK, FLORIDA, ASSIGNED TO A B-17 BOMBER CREW, DESTINED FOR RAIDS OVER EUROPE. SOON HE WAS IN BOVINGTON, ENGLAND RECEIVING SOME LAST MINUTE TRAINING; THEN TO HIS ASSIGNMENT IN KIMBOLTON, ENGLAND, WHERE HE WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 527TH SQUADRON, 379TH HEAVY BOMBARDMENT GROUP. IT WAS COMMON PRACTICE TO RETURN FROM A MISSION WITH THE PLANE SEVERELY DAMAGED. BUT, ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1944, THEIR PRIMARY TARGET OF HAMM, GERMANY WAS WEATHERED IN, SO THEY WENT TO THE NEXT TARGET LOCATED IN THE RHUR VALLEY. SOON THEY REALIZED THAT THEIR FUEL LINES WERE HIT AND THEY NEEDED TO TRY AND MAKE IT BACK TO THE LIBERATED ZONE IN FRANCE. HE WAS ABOARD WHEN THE PLANE CRASHED, 50 MILES SOUTH OF AACHEN, GERMANY. HE HAD NO RECOLLECTION OF THE CRASH. WHEN THE GERMAN SOLDIERS APPROACHED THEY SOON SAW THAT HIS RIGHT LEG AND ARM WERE BADLY INJURED. EVENTUALLY HE MADE IT TO A HOSPITAL NEAR REMAGEN, GERMANY. X-RAY SHOWED THAT HIS KNEE HAD BEEN CRUSHED AND SOON GANGRENE SET IN REQUIRING AMPUTATION. BECAUSE OF HIS INJURIES HE REMAINED IN THE HOSPITAL, NEVER REPORTING TO A PRISON. SINCE HE WAS IN A GERMAN HOSPITAL HE WAS CARRIED AS MISSING IN ACTION. AFTER BEING A PRISONER OF WAR FOR SEVEN MONTHS HE HAD A GERMAN SOLDIER WRITE A LETTER TO HIS PARENTS LETTING THEM KNOW HE WAS ALIVE. HE WAS SOON LIBERATED AND RETURNED TO NEW YORK. AWARDED THE PURPLE HEART MEDAL, AIR MEDAL WITH BRONZE OAK LEAF CLUSTER, AND PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL. IN 2014, THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT AWARDED HIM THE CROIX DE GUERRE (WAR CROSS), ALSO KNOWN AS KNIGHT OF THE FRENCH ORDER OF THE LEGION OF HONOR.