Georgia AmLegion Post 304

This Weblog is for the exclusive use of members of Post 304 of the Georgia American Legion in Kennesaw/Acworth, GA. It may be used for numerous purposes but will be primarily a site for communicating information to our members.

If you wish to post a "blog" on this weblog, please contact me at: dburdette488@bellsouth - I will either post it for your or advise you how to do it yourself.

Snail mailing address for the Post: American Legion Post 304, P.O. Box 15, Kennesaw, GA 30156-0015.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The American Legion Post 304 Provides WWII and Korean Veterans to Speak to Fifth Grade Students at Keheley Elementary

U.S. Navy Korean War veteran and American Legion North Cobb Post 304 member Duane Young of Kennesaw recounts his war experiences to a group of fifth-graders at Keheley Elementary. World War II and Korean veterans spent the day interacting with students.

World War II, Korean War veterans

share stories at Keheley Elementary

Saturday, March 31, 2007
By Michael French
Marietta Daily Journal Staff Writer

MARIETTA - He was captured barely a week after entering combat in World War II. And 63 years later, he captured the attention of Marietta fifth-graders.

The Rev. Ewell Black, 82, of Austell was sent to the frontlines of the Allied army Dec. 10, 1944, mere days before the Germans counterattacked in the Battle of the Bulge.

On March 20, 2007, Black sat surrounded by students at Keheley Elementary in Marietta, telling them of his experiences in combat and as a prisoner of war more than a half-century ago.

Ewell was forced into work camps, marched to multiple prison camps in the dead of the worst winter in 40 years in Europe, and when he was rescued, he only weighed 90 pounds."My parents didn't know what had happened to me," he said.

Keheley students took notes and asked questions of the war veterans who came to visit from North Cobb American Legion Post 304.

"Why was the USA bombing the place where you were?" asked student Trey Blakenship when Black described how nondescript buildings they were housed in were in cities the Allies were bombing late in the war.Black explained the Allies didn't know prisoners were there."Did you ever meet Hitler? Did he ever come up to you?" asked Kenneth Rowedder.

Black told Kenneth that when he was a prisoner at 19 years old, late in the war, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was too busy to visit prison camps.

"Hitler didn't budge out of Berlin at that time," he said.

Students asked the veterans if they were scared, how old they were and what they disliked the most about their war experiences.

One fifth-grader even asked Black if he had ever contemplated suicide while a POW in Germany.

"Not until I got back home," he said, referring to post-traumatic stress syndrome. "I was interested in living."Black spoke about how he defied the orders of German guards to move to another prison camp when the Allied soldiers were closing in on their position. "I said I wasn't going," he said.

He recalled seeing the frozen bodies of his comrades along the roadside when he was captured and remembered funny moments such as playing pranks on the American nurses and when a German snatched a French cigarette of out of his mouth and gave him a German one instead because French cigarettes were bad.

Korean War Veteran Jim Stoll, a Navy man from Kennesaw, said talking to the students was "one of the greatest experiences of my life.

"World War II veteran Robert Steele, who served in Italy, said the children were attentive to their accounts of history.

Teacher Susie Feathers said she hoped to bring World War II and Korean War veterans again next year.

"We won't have them around much longer," she said.

U.S. Army veteran the Rev. Ewell Black of Austell recounts his experiences during WWII, including being captureed as a prisoner of war, to a group of fifth graders:


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