1/Lt. Bert R. Shepard

(Robert M. Littlefield)

1/Lt. Bert R. Shepard

38th FS - 13 February 1944 - 21 May 1944 (Prisoner of War)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38J 42-67713

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
97 21 May 1944

Ranger Operation Chattanooga No. 1

Air Scores
Ground Scores
Notes Born in Dana, Indiana, 28th June 1920
ASN - O-754558
13 February 1944 - Joined the 38th Fighter Squadron
 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
21 May 1944 - Prisoner of War
MACR No. 04975

Bert Shepard tells his story:  While going in to strafe a German airfield northwest of Berlin, I was about a mile from the airfield flying at tree top level, wide open, approximately 380 mph, when my right foot was shot off.  I called the colonel, told him what happened and that I would call back later.  Evidently I was hit in the chin by flak, as I had about a one and a half inch wound, causing me to lose consciousness.  The next thing I remember is I'm about to crash at a slight angle so I horse back on the wheel but not in time.  I understand the P-38 crashed and burned but threw me clear.

I remembered nothing until I woke up in a German hospital in Ludwigslust hours or days later.  My right leg had been amputated 11 inches below the knee and a 2 inch square of bone above my right eye had been removed.  The amazing thing about the crash was that if I had not had the gunshot wounds and the gunsight to cave my head in I could have walked away from the crash for I had no other injuries except some scratches on my face and head.  I spent 8 months as a POW starting at Ludwigslust, Wismar, Frankfurt, Meiningen and Annaberg and returned to the States Feb. 21, 1945 in a POW exchange arranged by the Red Cross aboard the Gripsholm.

The Germans provided the finest medical care to save my life and I maintained good health with the help of Red Cross food parcels.  A crude artificial leg was fabricated by a Canadian POW so when I got to Walter Reed hospital Feb. 25, 1945, I got a new leg Mar. 10, 1945 and 4 days later started playing baseball with the Washington Senators.

German report J 1158 stated that the aircraft belly landed south of Warlow and the pilot was dangerously wounded from a gunshot wound and taken to Army Reserve Hospital, Ludwigslust.

Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

Passed away 16th June 2008

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