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“Mostly, [drawing] was a hobby for me. It wasn’t until after the war that I had any training in it.” (Audio Interview, Part 1, 8:31)

   Doane Hage, Jr.
Image of Doane Hage, Jr.
Doane Hage, Jr.
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army Air Forces/Corps
Unit: 423rd Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force
Service Location: England; St. Nazaire, France; Moosburg, Bavaria, Germany; Krems, Austria
Rank: Staff Sergeant
POW: Yes
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Determined to serve in the Army Air Corps during World War II, 20-year-old Doane Hage enlisted and set out to be a fighter pilot. He wound up an armament man with a bomber squadron and then caught a break when a vacancy opened up on one plane’s crew. Shot down over France in November 1942, he was sheltered for a time by a family of Spanish refugees. He was captured trying to cross into Spain and confined to the famous Stalag 17B, where he sharpened his drawing skills for the other prisoners, recreating scenes of their own planes going down. In his interview, Hage reveals a secret about his captivity previously known only to his family.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
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Download: audio(2) (71 min.)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Beginning of his sketching airplanes: creating outlines of German targets for the American crews to shoot at; his postwar career in art and design. (02:01) His first mission: taking the place of a gunner, which got him an immediate promotion from corporal to sergeant; feeling prepared despite his lack of experience; his oxygen mask freezing up on first three missions; shooting down an enemy plane. (07:02) Going on a longer mission—4 hours each way; getting hit by anti-aircraft fire that killed two men and forced Hage to parachute to safety. (07:11)
Lying to the Gestapo to protect the people who had sheltered him; horrible conditions in prison; finally breaking down to tell the truth; hearing of his protectors’ fates after the war. (04:50) In Stalag 17B, helping to dig tunnels for escape; feeling guilt over turning in his protectors; forged passes; began drawing at request of other prisoners; forced march near the end of the war; taking pity on a guard trying to escape liberators. (04:52) Finding out the fate of the family who protected him; feeling sorry for what he did; not all wounds suffered in war are visible. (01:40)
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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