After dropping off infantry soldiers at the Reading Armory, we flew to Reading Airport. This small municipal airport has very little passenger traffic. During World War 2, the place was bustling. The airport served as a transhipment point for P-47 and P-51 fighter aircraft and B-24 bombers going into combat.
According to the poster in the display case, the northeast corner of Reading Airport also served as a Prisoner of War camp. The last commandant of that camp during the war was 1st Lieutenant George Gussman. The POW camp housed 600 mostly Afrika Corps German prisoners captured in 1942 and 43.
Dad was the third commandant. In one of his many war stories about the camp, Dad said those prisoners had driven the last two commanders nuts with Geneva Convention complaints.
The previous commandants were young officers wounded and in charge of the camp while they recovered their health. Their heart was not in it and they got out of there as soon as they could. Dad came to command…
We are just about to take off on a three-ship Blackhawk mission to pick up troops in a wooded training area. The doors are shut, so I can't take good pictures till we land and open the doors. I want to get video of the infantry boarding the aircraft. They will enter on the right side with 80 pounds of gear each--and no storage for carry-ons!!! I will have a couple of minutes to get pictures before I get squeezed against the door by the passengers.