In honor of Veteran’s Day, I decided to post this 1945 newspaper article that announced my dad’s WWII repatriation from Stalag 7A, a German POW camp near Munich, Germany.
Newspaper Clipping – Feb. 23, 1945
DETROITER FREED BY NAZIS PHONES A TEARFUL FAMILY
by L.L. Stevenson from our New York Bureau
New York, Feb. 23–What astonished Pvt. Simone Billuni, just back from a German prison camp, was that when he called his folks at 630 Clairpointe Ave., Detroit, his kid brother should break down and cry as soon as he heard his voice.
That his mother should weep was to be expected, because all mothers do that. But the kid brother! Why, he’s ten years old, which is just half Pvt. Billuni’s age.
Pvt Billuni was one of the Detroit servicemen brought back by the MS Gripsholm Wednesday. At present he is at Halloran General Hospital on Staten Island, but within a short time will be transferred to Battle Creek.
He requested that hospital because it is near Detroit. Not that there is a girl waiting for him in his hometown. He did have a girl but she took off some place soon after he went into the Army.
WOUNDED IN HIP – He did not seem to be downcast because of feminine fickleness, however. An infantry rifleman, he was wounded in the hip during a German counterattack. He doesn’t know what hit him, but it was big enough to knock him out so completely that he was picked up for dead. When he recovered consciousness he found himself a German prisoner. He received no medical attention for 36 hours. Nevertheless, his wound healed up fast and while a prisoner, he worked. “That helped to kill time,” he declared. He also caught up with his reading. In all the time he was a prisoner, he received only three letters. The prisoners got only the German version of world news, but together with news received from new prisoners, were able to keep up with the war in Europe and in the Pacific.
RED CROSS FOOD HELPED – Asked about the food, he said as far as he knew it was what German soldiers ate, but Red Cross packages helped a lot. In the camp were American, French, Yugoslav, and Belgian prisoners. The morale of the Americans was extremely high. “That’s something you can’t knock out of an American soldier,” he declared. “He may be wounded and a prisoner, but his morale is still good.” Pvt. Billuni was one of those who received the Purple Heart at ceremonies at Halloran Thursday.