World War II vet shares story of escape from German POW camp
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - This year Homer Jones turns 96. He has been married for 72 years, and been a father to 5 children. During that time he taught on the South Plains for more than 30 years.
A quiet family life that makes it hard for one to believe he was held prisoner for 4 months, and escaped through Germany in the dead of winter with no shoes.
Homer Jones story begins in 1944 on September 24th when his plane was hit.
“We went into a tight spiral, we had a very hard time of even standing or even moving in the plane, we immediately got notice that we had to bail out," explains Jones. "As soon as we landed there was someone there waiting to take us as prisoners of war.”
Those first moments after Homer was captured, caught on camera and used as German propaganda. They “got us together and marched us down the street and through the area that we had just bombed," says Jones. The military later brought that picture to Jones family, showing them for the first time in months that he was alive.
After he was captured, Jones said they, “Put us into solitary confinement each of us after we were interviewed , and this is where I tell young people, this is where I learned to cry.”
After solitary confinement, Homer was moved to a prison camp in Austria.
“People from Austria would come and talk to the prisoners through the fence and the Germans didn’t care, and we noticed at night especially that the guards would be gone from guarding at all for 3 to 4 hours at a time, and if it was rare bad weather they never did come out of their place of safety and guard.”
Those individuals informed him that once he was ready to escape, they would help. So one night when there was a blizzard blowing outside Jones said, “We decided we would try and go over the fence. We got our old straw mattresses that weren’t worth 3 cents, but it’s what we slept on, and threw them up over an 8 foot fence, that kept us in and we pulled ourselves up and over, and in about two hours we were able to get to the spot where the people told us to go to. Got there about 4 o’clock in the morning and knocked on the door and it wasn’t 30 seconds before someone was there opening the door."
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