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Legacy Of:

Horace  W.  Austin

 

Personal Legacy
HORACE WILLIAM (BILL) AUSTIN, JR.
World war II Memories
and Biography

July 23, 1996

Horace William (Bill) Austin, Jr. was born August 13, 1921, Virginia Beach, CA. He joined USAAF in January 1942. Commissioned November 1942. He arrived ETO 6/9/43. Detached from 8th AAF to 9th AAF Benghazi, Libya. Piloted Southern Comfort on 8/1/43 Ploesti raid. Logbook noted, "Bombed Romanian oil refineries - low level - Good job."

Shot down over Foggia 8/16/43 on 11th combat mission. Captured by Italians. Transferred to German POW control. Escaped by leaping from Wehrmacht POW train bound for Germany. Spent over two weeks eluding recapture, ultimately finding British 8th Army lines. Believed to be first USAAF officer to escape, survive and return in Italian theater.

Discharged 1947 as Captain. Received DFC, Air Medal 2/2 OLC, Purple Heart, among others.

Married Marjorie P. Taite (USCG SPAR); two children. Died March, 1966. Interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
 
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