Life as a POW is Full of Terror, Sometimes Torture - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/02/03 - Tyler

Life as a POW is Full of Terror, Sometimes Torture

"The first thing i'm sure they thought about was what are they going to do to me?" recalls James Hughes, World War II prisoner of war.  The foremost question in his mind was "Am I going to live or die?"

Every prisoner of war has a story.

"When you're in camp, you're constantly in fear of what they are going to do."

It's a story that is difficult to explain, and impossible for the rest of the world to imagine.  James Hughes, nicknamed "Buck," was a gunner aboard a B-17. On mission number five, fate struck.

"We just got hit with fighters and flak, the plane caught on fire and blew up."

Three of nine lived. The Germans took him for interrogation. He says that is the time of terror that every POW today must be enduring.

"The Germans were kind of a civilized people, but I'm not so sure of those over there, and I think that they're leaning more toward torture."

He wore this dog tag in prison camp for nearly eight months.  He was on a forced march for nearly twelve weeks.  He prayed to survive.

"For a duration of 81 days, I had no bath, no shave, or nothing in 81 days. Sleeping out in all kinds of weather."

"For eight months there, there was no way that I could see the American flag."

His "liberation day" is just day's away now. It's the anniversary of his freedom, given by those who died.  It's the day when he could see America again.

"When you lose the sight of Old Glory, it's losing too much."

Reported by Morgan Palmer 

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