Escape and evasion in Europe: An airman’s World War II odyssey in the shadows

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John M. Carah

The story of one man’s harrowing WWII experiences will be presented 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, at the Brighton District Library Monday as Warran B. Carah presents the story of his father’s (John M. Carah) harrowing WWII experiences as a U.S. Army Air Forces airman. From training, to being shot down, to rescue by the French Underground, this is likely one of the most compelling personal wartime narratives you’ll ever hear. Call (810) 229-6571 ext. 227 to register.

During World War II, some 3,000 American soldiers and airmen successfully escaped or evaded capture by the Axis powers in occupied Europe. For these men and women, every minute in occupied Europe was fraught with betrayal, capture and death.  Evaders had to negotiate their way through escape routes where food was scarce, suspicion high, and treachery common. This is the story of one airman evader and his unique odyssey to reach freedom at the height of WWII. It is also the story of sacrifice on the part of dozens of Resistance members who often lost all helping Allied soldiers return home.

In 1990, John M. Carah began writing a memoir of his World WarII experiences which he titled “Achtung! Achtung! Die Flugfestungen Kommen!” His son edited his father’s memoir in 2006. Warran B. Carah began telling his father’s story after he became alarmed at how little people knew about the conflict that reshaped our nation and the extraordinary courage of millions of men and women who risked all to protect our democracy.

During the presentation, Carah will have on display a large shadow box of pieces of his father’s B-17 bomber which was shot down in France in 1943. His father later recovered the parts during an excavation of the crash site when he visited the area in 1996.

Carah has been researching his father’s wartime experiences for over 25 years. He has written numerous articles on WWII and on the history of his Cornish ancestors during the California Gold Rush. He and his wife, Maggie, have lived in the Brighton area since 1988.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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