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2nd Lt. Elmer Sturgell Proctor
723rd Squadron

Pictured here with his daughter, Becky in Temple, Texas.

Sturgell, as he liked to be called, started his service with the 302nd Bomber Group, from there he went to the 400th Bomber Group and then to the 450th.
As a member of the 723rd Squadron he was injured by a flak burst on a mission to Varese, Italy on 25 April 1944.
Carried from his aircraft, Scrounch, by another crew member, (his leg had been shattered by a flak hit and he was unconcious) he was captured by the Germans and held as a POW.
During his internment, his leg was amputated and he received excellent medical care from the German doctors. He was held at the estate of an Austrian Baron close to Steyr.
The baron was permitted to escort several of the officers into town for drinks at a local pub on weekends. Eventually, Sturgell made himself a "Peg Leg" from wood scraps.
When he was liberated and returned to the U.S. aboard the S.S. Gripsholm, his make shift leg was left behind. Assigned to the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, Sturgell managed to switch places with another wounded man who was assigned to the V.A. hospital in Temple, Texas, so he could be close to home.

Information provided by Bettye P. Mahan, sister of Elmer Proctor.

Link To Crew Picture

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