Bainbridge veteran remembers WWII - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bainbridge veteran remembers WWII

^ James Stone ^ James Stone
^ Stone during his service days ^ Stone during his service days
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November 11, 2002

Bainbridge - It's a survival story from World War II. A B-17 bomber shot down, the crew captured by the enemy. James Stone of Bainbridge lived these words and shares his story for Veteran's Day.

Stone reads a handwritten postcard written in 1944 to his family, "I'm fine and in the best of health. We were treated well." The 85-year-old retired Air Force Pilot and Captain continues reading out loud, "Not a single one of us were even scratched, not even a minor injury. We really cheated death. GOD was with us."

Stone's B-17 Bomber was shot down over an oil field in Romania during World War II. He remembers, "I spoke to the Lord coming down, and we were very fortunate, we found a big wheat field to set the plane down."

They were captured immediately by the enemy, POW's for three months. He says, "Didn't have a whole lot to eat, but they were not unkind to us."

When they were freed, a Romanian Sergeant took Stone to his home. He explains, "I had a good bath and a new white shirt." That day, Stone and the Romanian Sergeant swapped the shirts on their backs. He says, " We sent a wedding invitation to the Romanian Sergeant, the invitation was sent back."

Stone was born in Virginia, but earned his wings and met his wife, Mary, in Southwest Georgia. He laughs, "Yeah, I got my wife in Bainbridge."

Stone considers himself lucky in many ways. He went to work for liberty and survived to tell his story to his kids and grand kids.

Stone and his wife have been married for 58 years.

posted at 4:55PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com