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Jack M Hughins 1943 Gunnery School Graduate

Jack and Gladys at POW convention Texas

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Street:  5 BROKEN BOW CIR City & State: ODESSA, TX E-Mail: 
Zip: 79763-6352 Phone:  915-381-1731 Spouse: GLADYS M.
Conflict: WW II Service Branch: Army Air Corp Unit: 376 BG 514 BS 9 AF
Theater: ETO Where Captured: ITALY Date Captured: 07/16/43
Camps Held In: 8B, 2B LUFT 6, PG 203 & 204 How Long Interned: 419 days
liberated / repatriated: Repatriated Date Liberated: 09/07/44 Age at Capture: 25
Occupation after War:  DIESEL TRUCK MECHANIC

Military Bio:

M/SGT Jackson Moore Hughins, born in Roanoke, VA, May 8, 1917, entered the U.S. Air Corps on November 1, 1941 from San Jose, CA. While stationed in the States, Jack received honors from the Aerial Gunners School, Tyndal Field, AZ; Air Corp Tech School, Keisler Field, Miss; Aerial Engineer School, Sebring, FL. In early 1943 he was transferred overseas to the 376th Heavy Bomb Group 514th Squadron. He was an engineer gunner on a B-24. The 376th was the most decorated in the European War of the North African Campaign. His home was the Libyan Desert (they ate sand morning, noon and night). Many times Jack would speak of the flak from their bombing missions.

On his 25th mission their plane was shot down over Bari, Italy. He was badly wounded and broke his right knee on his parachute landing. Although severely wounded Jack helped his comrade with his parachute, saving his life. Jack was captured in Italy by the Germans and went in boxcars to the German Concentration Camp. He was also in camps in Italy and Poland. Camps he was in were P-6-203, P-6-204, Stalag VIII-B, Luft VI and Stalag IV-D. While in these camps, food was 2 oz. of meat and a slice of dark bread, sometimes potato soup. Because of the fact that Jack did not smoke, he traded for a little extra food. He lost 37 pounds. Medical treatment was poor and he witnessed men in the camp shot from trying to escape and one shot for going to the lavatory at the wrong time. His worst experience was when they were told that all American airmen were to be shot by Hitlerís orders.

On September 7, 1944 he was repatriated and came home on the Swedish Liner, Gripsholm. Medals Jack received were the DFC with the Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, 2 Purple Hearts, Ari Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters presented by General Ent, and the POW medal.

Many hours were spent in different hospitals after returning home. Much shrapnel was removed from his right arm and side. While at McCormick General in Pasadena, CA he met Gladys Than whom he married on April 8, 1947 in Mohall, ND. They returned to CA settling in Orlando where they bought 40 acres. They raised almonds, olives and alfalfa. Although disabled, Jack continued to work on heavy-duty equipment.

They have two loving children, Lynett and Steve, both of whom were in the Army Intelligence field in the early 1970ís. Lynett now works long-term care geriatrics as an MSSW and Steve has a computer business. There are three granddaughters, Dena, Mindi and Brandee, and four great-grandchildren, Faith, Taylor, Maison and Emily. In the early 1980ís, Jack and Gladys moved to Texas to be near their children, settling in Odessa where Jack passed away March 5, 1998 at the age of 80. He and Gladys were married almost 51 years of friendship and faithful love.

My Message to Future Generations:

Let us not forget these brave and courageous men of WWII.

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