Segment 4


Onesi recalls his time in the prisoner of war (POW) camps. If they were not sergeants, they would have been better off. The other men were able to work in the fields. The food was terrible, they never received a full, solid meal. When Onesi entered the Air Force, he weighed 145 pounds. He weighed 98 pounds after being liberated from the POW camp. Some of the men discussed escaping and tried to get out. He recalls two men taking refuge in a barn to escape, but the Germans killed them.Onesi remembers receiving packages from the Salvation Army. This helped them pass the time. He was able to write home to his family, but the letters were censored. His family initially received a telegram that he was MIA [Annotator's Note: Missing in Action]. The Germans shipped them on trains to the various camps, anywhere from 3-5 days. When they transferred Onesi to Heidelberg, he remembers going on a coal barge. They could not breath until one of the men persuaded the Germans to open some of the planks and canvas on the decks.Onesi remembers being placed in a camp in Stuttgart. Some of the men smuggled in radios, they knew what was happening in the war. He never thought about dying or being liberated from the camp, he lived day by day.


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