"If I would've finished that flight I would have come home to sell war bonds," says Herman "Herk" Streitburger of Bedford. That last flight did not go as planned; instead, the B24 Liberator Bomber on which he served as gunner was shot down, and as he puts it, Herk became a guest of the German government for about a year.
During that time Herk managed to learn to speak a little German, and he learned how to barter the food and supplies in his care packages from the Red Cross. As it turns out, those two skills came in handy when he and several other prisoners decided to make their escape. He tells the story to All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.