Saturday, June 22, 2013

Heinrich Augustin (of Germany) holds the backpack of 2nd Lt. Duane Miller McKay - a 22 year old from Independence Kansas who died in December 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge. Heinrich's family held onto the backpack since 1944, and after his 95 year old Mother died last year, Heinrich found it again and was determined to return it to the McKay family.

The backpack has been returned to the Kansas Historical Museum in Independence Kansas, and soon the McKay's and Kansas natives and guests will be able to view the relic and read/hear the story of Heinrich's search to find McKay family members and return the backpack.

 
Coming soon to this blog, more stories about the return of Duane McKay's backpack!

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
http://www.news-leader.com/interactive/article/20130526/NEWS01/305260050/Memories-live-through-mementos