One of Norwood’s heroes, of the present war who, as an engineer gunner on a Flying Fortress carried the war home to the Nazi only to be forced to bail out over enemy territory, is well and as happy as can be expected under the circumstances, according to letters received by his mother which told of his whereabouts.
The Air Force hero, Sergt. John C Leahy, son of Mr. and Mr. Benedict V. Leahy of 12 Monroe street, Norwood, has written three letters to his mother which reached her this week, and told of her son’s internment in a Nazi prison in German-occupied Austria. The letters, all in his own handwriting were the most welcome letters Mrs. Leahy has received in a long time.
As a prisoner of war, Sergt. Leahy, in his letters stated that he had to parachute from his plane over enemy territory but that he landed safely and all was well “I still have the 12 pictures of the family with me,” he wrote, “they didn’t take them away.”
“Tell all my friends I was asking for them, Mom,” he wrote. “I can’t write to them but tell them to write to me.”
In one of the letters he told the home folks that he desired a pipe, pencil, pen and ink, two decks of cards, and some chocolates. They are on the way to Sergt. Leahy, who is a prisoner in the town of Stalag in the northern part of Austria, northwest of Vienna and near the Danube river.
According to the general tone of the letters which Mrs. Leahy let the Free Press reporter read. Sergt. Leahy is making the best of his incarceration and he stated in one of the letters that it was just like a convention there From this remark it is surmised that he has plenty of company.
He is very optimistic about the outcome of the war and the letters, which were uncensored except for one line in one of the letters, which stressed the fact that he expected that the war would terminate in the near future.
Sergt. Leahy enlisted in the Air Force in June, 1942. He soon distinguished himself while under fire in the air and has been the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, been awarded the Purple Heart, and won the coveted Air Medal which also bears three Oak Leaf Clusters.
With the Distinguished Flying Cross which was presented to his mother at a recent meeting at the Junior high school by Carlos I Romulos, famed aide to General Mac Arthur, came a notation at the bottom of the citation which accompanied the Cross. It read: “With the admiration of his comrades in arms.” What hero could ask for a better testimonial of his bravery and courage?
The Norwood Messenger- March 31, 1944