Memorial Day - My Grandfather's Harrowing Tale

Douglas H Mckinnon WWII Bomber Pilot

This is a picture of USAF Lieutenant Colonel Douglas H. McKinnon, retired WWII bomber pilot. (my grandfather) 

After several successful missions over Germany he was eventually shot down. He fell unconscious towards his demise until somehow incredibly he awoke halfway to the ground. He pulled his parachute and landed ironically enough on a German air strip. 

After climbing into a German plane to attempt to fly away he was approached by German soldiers, captured and spent the next 11 months in a German POW camp where he suffered at the hands of the Germans. He was fed nothing but potatoes... three times a day. 

To stay sane he would shred his socks and sew them back together by hand - hundreds of times over. He would eventually return home after the War to his wife Helen and daughter Joyce, who for nearly a year had no idea if he was alive or dead. 

Today I honor and remember my grandpa (RIP). I was fortunate to know him for the first 20 yrs of my life. We would spend weekends, birthdays and holidays together... and grandma Helen never served potatoes again...

Here's a photo of his squadron. He is seated middle, left. I don't any of the others' names, nor what became of them. I do know they were all in their 20s when this photo was taken, and from the looks of things they were a confident bunch.

This Memorial Day I remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedoms.

USAF WWII Squadron
Jeff K

Jeff K

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