An Airman's Odyssey: Charles R. Batdorf - an Aerial Gunner and Prisoner of War In World War Ii
An Airman's Odyssey tells the World War II experience of Staff Sergeant Charles R. Batdorf. At the start of the war, Batdorf was just an eighteen-year old kid from rural Pennsylvania. However, like many other young men in America during the initial months of the war, he didn't wait for his country to call—he volunteered for military service. Yearning to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps and eager to see combat, he requested duty as an aerial gunner. His training led to an assignment as a B-17 waist gunner and ultimately into combat in the skies over Europe. The action and adventure he sought soon turned to a fight for survival in a prisoner of war camp after he and his crew were shot down and captured during a raid on Berlin. He endured life as a POW for over a year before liberation in late April 1945.