Paul C. Andersen

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army Air Forces

HOMETOWN
Redfield, SD

HONORED BY
John C. Burkhardt, Commander, Chapter 1919 Military Order of the Purple Heart

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

ENLISTED IN THE ARMY AIR CORPS, AT SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, ON SEPTEMBER 11, 1940. ATTENDED BASIC AND ADVANCED TRAINING, AT FORT LOGAN, DENVER, COLORADO. AFTER COMPLETING OFFICER’S CANDIDATE SCHOOL, AT ABERDEEN PROVING GROUNDS, ABERDEEN, WASHINGTON, WAS ASSIGNED TO 389TH BOMB GROUP, 564TH BOMB SQUAD, AT BRIGGS FIELD, EL PASO, TEXAS. SOON THE UNIT WAS MOVED TO HETHEL, ENGLAND, WAS ASSIGNED TO 564TH BOMB GROUP, AS THE ORDNANCE OFFICER. ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1944, WAS SENT AS AN OBSERVER ON A BOMBING MISSION, TO TAKE OUT THE RAILROAD MARSHALING YARDS KARLSRUHE, GERMANY. MET HEAVY FLACK AND JUST AFTER THEY RELEASED THEIR BOMBS THE PLANE WAS HIT BY GROUND FIRE. WAS HIT IN THE SHOULDER AND KNOCKED DOWN. THE PLANE, A B-24 LIBERATOR, WAS SO HEAVILY DAMAGED THEY COULD NOT MAINTAIN ALTITUDE. ONCE THE PLANE HAD DROPPED TO 4,000 FEET, THEY WERE ORDERED TO BAIL OUT. LANDED IN A TREE AND AND WAS ABLE TO FREE HIMSELF. MET UP WITH THE BOMBARDIER FROM HIS PLANE AND TOGETHER THEY TRIED TO AVOID DETECTION. A SHORT TIME LATER THEY WERE CAPTURED AND TAKEN TO THE GERMAN PRISON CAMP, STALAG NUMBER 1, BARTH, GERMANY. SPENT THE REST OF WAR THERE. WAS LIBERATED ON MAY 13, 1945. AFTER A FEW MONTHS OF REST AND RELAXATION, WAS SENT HOME TO REDFIELD, SOUTH DAKOTA. MEDALS AND AWARDS: PURPLE HEART, PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL AND EUROPEAN-AFRICAN-MIDDLE-EASTERN CAMPAIGN MEDAL.