George Messick, Mission July 2, 1944

George Messick of the 512th will never forget July 2, 1944 on the way to Budapest.

"I was the tail gunner on that mission, and on the way to the target we lost two engines. There was no way to stay in the air so we bailed out near Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

"The Chetniks found four of us and they kept us hidden until August 10, when 276 of us who had been shot down or forced down were picked up near Belgrade and flown back to Italy.

"But the biggest memory I have of my stay with the Chetniks was beans - green beans - morning, noon and night. You haven't lived until you've subsisted for six weeks on beans with no salt, no seasoning. To this day I can't look a green bean in the face."