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2nd Lt. Thomas K. Lowen
720th Squadron
Thomas Lowen

Lt, Lowen is on the left in the back row.

Lt. Lowen was shot down over Albania and spent one and a half years in German pow camp in north Germany.
As was typical of veterans of that time, Lt. Lowen was reluctant in the extreme to talk about his WWII experiences.
As a teenager, I had only one talk with him about it.
My recollection of that discussion was that after destroying the Norton Bomb Sight on the plane, our father argued with the captain, LT R W Whitehead,
in an attempt to get him to bail out together.
Lt Whitehead was determined to crash the plane into some enemy oil storage tanks to cause as much damage as possible,
as such, our Lt. Lowen said he was the last one out of the plane.
He told his family that he was only 900 feet off the ground at that point and deployed his chute immediately. He landed in a tree, breaking his leg. He said there was a brook very near by, so he tossed his side arm into the brook.
Then he had to signal a German patrol to extricate him from the tree. He spent his time as a POW in Stalag 3 in Barth, Germany.
He was subsequently liberated by a Russian Major who handed him a bottle of vodka and told him that he was liberated.
The Germans made Lt. Lowen the camp barber for the camp POWs. They all learned to sew because their clothes were in such a shabby state.

Lt. Lowen also related that one of the members of their crew was Jewish.
They buried his star of David and Lt. Lowen taught him as much as he could about Catholicism and the Catholic Mass for his safety, so he could pass as Catholic to his Germany captors.

Information courtesy of Thomas and Bruce Lowen, sons of 2nd Lt. Lowen.

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