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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

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   Nathaniel G. Raley
Image of Nathaniel G. Raley
Nathaniel Raley P.O.W. ID Photograph, Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany
War: World War, 1939-1945
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: 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.)
Download: video (1) | video (2)
»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album (4 photos)
 Memoirs
»P-38 Pilot
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»Voices of War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (9 items)
Description of a P-38. (04:53) Flying escort for a VIP. (02:56) Moving upon the list of top pilots. (03:00)
Shot down over Anzio. (07:21) "Whenever food is offered, eat it." (02:30) Learning the rules of the POW camp. (05:44)
Liberation; the revenge of the Russians. (07:27) Postwar nightmares. (02:21) His respect for the military; "fear is a healthy thing." (00:39)
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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