Former POW remembers Nazi camp on Grandfather's Day - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

KILGORE (KLTV)

Former POW remembers Nazi camp on Grandfather's Day

Sunday was National Grandparents Day and one grandparent in Kilgore is glad to be celebrating it, 66 years after he was shot down over Nazi Germany.  Freddie Ward of Kilgore survived nearly two years in a German prisoner of war camp. 

The 87-year-old still preaches every Sunday at Highland Park Church in Kilgore, but not a day goes by that he doesn't remember, July of 1943 when his bomber was shot down over Germany.

"Let's see I went in the day after my 21st birthday, I think about it every day," said Ward.  He was a POW at the notorious Stalag 17 and suffered brutal treatment at the hands of the Nazi's.

"What struck me was the filthiness of the place," said Ward.  "We had two men killed trying to escape which you have to understand they told us that if you try to escape you will be shot."  Through near starvation, he and his fellow soldiers made a vow, they would stay alive.

"Just going to try to make it through that deal and survive," said Ward.  He's lived to see many wars and a new generation of veterans coming home, that he sympathizes with.

"I just pat them on the back and tell them they did a good job," said Ward.  "They are doing a great job over there, and I believe they've just about got it won."  He holds no bitterness, but wants to remind people of what they need to be truly thankful of.

"I've had a pretty good life, I'm just glad to be here," said Ward.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:36 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:36:26 GMT

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>
  • Veterans hold annual Buddy Poppy event

    Veterans hold annual Buddy Poppy event

    Saturday, May 26 2018 8:59 PM EDT2018-05-27 00:59:06 GMT

     In a tradition of spring, East Texas veterans organizations ask people to remember memorial day through accepting a symbol.  A flower.  Memorial day weekend, a time of reflection and honoring those who have fallen while serving our country.     The gift of a simple 'buddy poppy' has a deeply profound meaning for veterans. Thanks to a World War one officer. "The original story was written and thrown in the trash. John Mcrea dug ...

    More >>

    In a tradition of spring, East Texas veterans organizations ask people to remember memorial day through accepting a symbol. A flower. Memorial day weekend, a time of reflection and honoring those who have fallen while serving our country. The gift of a simple 'buddy poppy' has a deeply profound meaning for ve

    More >>
  • DPS: One dead in Smith County wreck

    DPS: One dead in Smith County wreck

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:33 AM EDT2018-05-26 15:33:18 GMT

    From the Texas Department of Public Safety: On May 25, 2018 at 2:32 PM, Troopers responded to a two vehicle fatal crash on IH-20, 10 miles east of the city of Lindale.

    More >>

    From the Texas Department of Public Safety: On May 25, 2018 at 2:32 PM, Troopers responded to a two vehicle fatal crash on IH-20, 10 miles east of the city of Lindale.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly