John Paul Harper might be 92 years old now, but he vividly remembers being a nose gunner in the Army Air Corps and later being captured by the Germans during World War II.
Speaking to members of Chapter #1757 of the National Active and Retired Employees (NARFE) during an Oct. 18 luncheon meeting at Olivia’s in the Village, Gloucester, Har-
per described aerial combat and how he was shot down by Germans in 1944 and held prisoner for several months.
Flying with a crew on a B-24 four-engine bomber, Harper said he was sent to England, where his crew and hundreds of others trained at multiple bases in England. About two months after D-Day on June 6, 1944, the plane he was flying in that day was hit by antiaircraft fire after it had bombed a submarine base in Germany.
Several of the crew members were wounded, but Har-
per said he and others rigged parachutes for the injured and then jumped themselves. All were captured by the Germans—but they all survived.
For Harper and at...
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