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Richard 'Dick' Kitzman
721st Squadron

Richard Kitzman, 721st Squadron
Co-Pilot Crew 272

Uncle Dick's plane was shot down on March 22, 1945. He was the last one out of the plane.
He escaped through the bomb bay doors, and on the way out he cut himself from his nose all the way up to the top of his head. Somehow he managed to get his parachute open.
When he landed, his thigh was crushed, the bone pretty much completely destroyed. He was found by the Germans. They needed a way to keep his leg stable and together, so one man sat on him to hold him down, and the others drove a wooden stake through his leg. (I'm a little fuzzy on this part, I'm not sure exactly where the put the stake or how it held his leg together...) He spent the remainder of the war in a German hospital as a prisoner, until the Russian's came, at which point he became a virtual prisoner of the Russians. He and a buddy managed to get ahold of some whiskey or vodka, and bribed a Russian pilot to fly them out.
The family was notified in late November, 1945, that he had returned to his base in Italy.

I don't know a whole lot about Uncle Dick's life after the war.
He had three kids, two boys and a girl, and he was a music teacher.
Uncle Dick died in 1998 in Bradenton, Florida. His wife Mary still lives there.

Narative by Elizabeth Fredericks.

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