Saturday, June 22, 2013

George Copeland - POW tells his story

Memories live on through mementos

George CopelandWas a POW for nearly a year

  • By Sarah Okeson

The daily entries George Copeland penciled into his blue log book more than six decades ago are faded with age. World War II was coming to an end, but Copeland didn’t know if he would survive to see it. The armorer for the 448th Bomb Group had been held captive in Germany for more than seven months.
The first entry is Feb. 6, 1945. Copeland and an estimated 6,000 other prisoners from Stalag Luft IV near the Baltic Sea were marched out of camp as the Russians approached from the east. Hundreds died from exhaustion and disease in what some would later call the Black March. Others were shot when they couldn’t keep up.
Copeland, a farm boy from Kansas who had enlisted with dreams of being a pilot, each day recorded kilometers walked and food eaten, mostly potatoes and bread, or brot. According to his tally, they walked about 473 miles over 86 days.
The first entry is “27” with the words “1/9 can beef 1/3 brot.”

For the full story and to see a video of George, please click here

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