Quantcast

Carlisle Man Recalls Horror of WWII Death March - abc27 WHTM

Carlisle Man Recalls Horror of WWII Death March

Posted: Updated:
  • Let's Go PlacesMore>>

  • York County Man Fulfills a High-Flying Dream

    York County Man Fulfills a High-Flying Dream

    York County Man Fulfills a High-Flying Dream

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:32 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:32:39 GMT
    For 79-year old Ralph Sutton, the pre-flight briefing and inspection was like catching up with an old friend. It was a chance to fulfill a late-in-life dream of once again flying a plane."This is where you'll be sitting and I'll have a head set for you," flight instructor Heskel Burnstein explained to Sutton.This was not a routine flight. It was a special opportunity made possible by the "Second Wind Dreams" program of Elmcroft personal care community in Dillsburg and the "Harrisburg Pilots" ...More >>
    For 79-year old Ralph Sutton, the pre-flight briefing and inspection was like catching up with an old friend. It was a chance to fulfill a late-in-life dream of once again flying a plane."This is where you'll be sitting and I'll have a head set for you," flight instructor Heskel Burnstein explained to Sutton.This was not a routine flight. It was a special opportunity made possible by the "Second Wind Dreams" program of Elmcroft personal care community in Dillsburg and the "Harrisburg Pilots" ...More >>
  • Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:09:35 GMT
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
  • Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-21 13:20:20 GMT
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>

While most Americans were watching it on newsreels in December of 1944, West Fairview native Robert Welker was living it. America's largest and bloodiest battle of World War Two.

"They were killing them and wounding them. And there is too many of them getting killed," recalled Welker. "Dozens and dozens of American soldiers getting hit here, hit there and all over the body."

The 89-year-old former Army Medic was one of more than a half-million American soldiers valiantly repelling a massive German Army attack on Allied forces in Belgium and Luxembourg. History calls it the Battle of the Bulge.

"We wore a band around our arm, on our left arm, with a red cross on it that indicated we were a medic," said Welker, describing the horrific battle scene from almost 70 years ago. "They just opened fire. They didn't give a damn who was on the front line."

Somehow, Welker survived the slaughter, only to face months of starvation, beatings and slave labor at the notorious Berga concentration camp in Germany. Then, in the spring of 1945. with Allied Forces closing in, the German guards put Welker and about 100 fellow prisoners on a forced death march.

"They wanted us to die," Welker said. "They just kept marching. No water. Nothing to eat. And no stopping."

Details of the terrifying march are still fresh in his mind.

"This one little fellow. He was only about two or three behind me. He took off ran over to get a potato, They shot him right through the head and left him lay."

After 15 days, the march ended abruptly when the guards scattered, ahead of advancing Allied troops. Within hours, the emaciated prisoners were swooped up in the arms of American soldiers.

"We felt so great. So good. I couldn't explain what the hell we felt," said Welker. "We felt so light. We thought: we're free. We're free. Once again, we're free."

And Welker makes it clear he is still ready to fight for that freedom.

"I'd join the Army today if I'd be young enough and well enough. If I could pass the test."

Powered by WorldNow