May 25, 2020
Remembering Uncle Herman
Sgt. Herman Schweitzer
US Army Air Forces
Over the past few months, I've been doing some research on members of my family. Since today is Memorial Day, I think a very good place to begin is with my Great Great-Uncle.
Herman Schweitzer was born in 1919 and was my Great Grandfather's younger brother. He joined the service to fight in World War II in December of 1943 and was trained as an aerial gunner.
On August 5th, 1944, he flew overseas and joined the Fifteenth Air Force. He was fighting as a top turret gunner on a B-24 Bomber when he was shot down over Treviso, Italy on September 13th, 1944. He survived, but was taken as a prisoner of war by Nazi Germany.
The Nazi's transferred Uncle Herm at Stalag Luft IV in Mühlberg, Germany where he was imprisoned alongside author Kurt Vonnegut. With the Soviet Army advancing, Hitler ordered that the POWs be forced to march west. The March began on February 6th, 1945 and continued until he was liberated by the British Army near Lübeck, Germany.
After the war, he returned to the United States and ran the Schweitzer's Service Station with his brothers on Winters Avenue in West Hazleton. He was living in Bluffton, South Carolina when he passed away in 2010 at the age of 91.