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EX-POWS: Thanks for your sacrifices

| June 9, 2010 10:00 PM

Coeur d'Alene resident Bud Kirchoff is a survivor. Captured by the Japanese in 1942, he survived the Bataan Death March and remained a prisoner until the end of the war in 1945.

Bud invited my wife and me to attend the 2010 annual state convention of the American Ex-prisoners of War in Yakima on May 27. We presented on behalf of our sponsors, 15 Buck Knives commemorative sheath knives to these aging WWII survivors.

Joseph Moser of Ferndale, Wash., one of the recipients of a knife, presented me with a copy of his book, "A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald," co-authored with Gerald Baron. This book is a must-read.

First Lt. Joseph Moser, US Army Air Corps, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and completed 43 missions. On Aug. 13, 1944, one month to the day before his 23rd birthday and on his 44th mission, flying his Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter, he was shot down by German anti-aircraft guns over Nazi-occupied France.

More than 250,000 prisoners were sent to Buchenwald. Of these, more than 50,000 died and were disposed of in a crematorium. Scheduled for execution, Lt. Moser and other allied airmen were transferred to another camp, their lives thus saved. This is a first-hand account of Lt. Moser's life.

 Thanks to God, the Buck family, the Coeur d'Alene Press, the Post Falls Press, and the following donors for making these gifts possible: Karen and Pat Mastantuono, Graham and Betsy Crutchfield, Bob and Louise Blum, Jim Ratliff - Rocky Mountain Title Loan, Donna Quane - in memory of Don Quane, John and Mary Ann McHugh, Randy and Phyllis Randels, Syd and Sonya Buck, Ron and Joanne McIntire, Gary and Carolyn Gillen, Wayne and Mary Reese, Gordon and Doris Ramsden, and Virginia Hicks.

GRAHAM CRUTCHFIELD

Hayden

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