Greatest Generation: Jim Holmes - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/28/04-Carthage

Greatest Generation: Jim Holmes

  Every day we loose an average of fifteen hundred American veterans of World War II: many of their stories will never be told.
  But one member of East Texas Greatest Generation, a native of Carthage, recorded his story in a way that most of us could never have imagined. Even after sixty years, Jim Holmes still can't talk about his fallen comrades without tears coming to his eyes. It was on July 27th, 1944 when Holmes' plane was hit by an anti-aircraft shell during a bombing mission over Budapest, Hungary .
  Holmes was taken prisoner by the Germans and would spend the next nine months as Prisoner of War # 7026 at Stalag Luft #4. During his imprisonment, Holmes suffered from hunger, cold weather and harrassment. He recorded each day on the backs of cigarette wrappers and formed them into two journals..journals that tell of lonliness, hunger, comaraderie, courage and always dreams of home and loved ones, all written on the backs of cigarette packages, one of the most remarkable documents to come out of World War II.
  It's the personal story of an American Airman... among those we are proud to call "our greatest generation."

Joan Hallmark, reporting. 

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