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"I somersaulted backwards, got out of my parachute harness in a couple of seconds, and stood up with my back to several dozen German soldiers... I hated to face the reality that I was about to undergo a drastic change in my 'life style.'" Memoirs, Speech at Montgomery, p. 2

   Nathaniel G. Raley
Image of Nathaniel G. Raley
Nathaniel Raley P.O.W. ID Photograph, Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany
War: World War II, 1939-1946
Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps
Unit: 48th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group, 12th Air Force and 15th Air Force
Service Location: Mediterranean; European Theater
Rank: First Lieutenant
POW: Yes
Place of Birth: Demopolis, AL
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Flying in support of the invasion at Anzio, Nathaniel Raley was shot down by ground fire. Captured by the Germans, he wound up at Stalag Luft I, populated entirely by fliers from several Allied air forces. He wryly describes his 15 months in captivity as "a learning experience." Among the lessons: how to tell when an interrogator is lying to get information and the price a prisoner pays for touching the perimeter wire fence in a stalag.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (9 clips)
»Complete Interview  (90 min.)
»Photo Album (4 photos)
»P-38 Pilot
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»Voices of War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
"Whenever food is offered, eat it." (02:30) Shot down over Anzio. (07:21) Moving upon the list of top pilots. (03:00)
Flying escort for a VIP. (02:56) Description of a P-38. (04:53) His respect for the military; "fear is a healthy thing." (00:39)
Postwar nightmares. (02:21) Liberation; the revenge of the Russians. (07:27) Learning the rules of the POW camp. (05:44)
Home » Nathaniel G. Raley
  The Library of Congress
  May 29, 2007
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