(POV of Richard T. Sykes)
This is a story told from the point of view of my grandfather, Richard T. Sykes, during his time fighting in World War II. Richard was a fighter in the Air Force for the US Army. He flew P-38's and fought in Hungary, Germany, Italy, and other places in Europe. Richard was 17 years old when he ran away from his home to fight in the Air Force. He lied about his age to the Air Force so he could fight and protect America. Soon after, the Air Force found out how old he really was and sent him back home to finish College. The day of his graduation, he went back to fight in the Air Force during World War II. During his time fighting, his plane was shot down.
It was 1944 and I was on my last mission over Hungary. I was in my favorite plane, a P-38 fighter that I called Lightning. The land below me looked as if it had been bombed, which it had. It was so surreal; it was hard to believe people had even decided to do such things. As I kept flying, the great, green mountains appeared and over them, an untouched land. I tried to keep my focus back on the sky, but it was hard not to be astonished by the different landscapes I had just passed. After a minute, I regained my focus and kept flying. Suddenly, I heard the German planes coming. I sped up and flew in the opposite direction of the enemies, but they were gaining on me. I tried calling to the base, but I couldn't connect to anyone. In seconds I was falling; I had no control over my plane. I thought this was the end; I knew for sure I was going to die in a matter of seconds. The plane was flying through the air, but not the way it is supposed to. I crashed hard into the ground and heard the dim buzz of the other planes flying away, knowing they had done what they needed to do. I got out of the plane, surprised that I was even alive, and walked. I walked for six days until I found a small farmhouse. I peeked through a crack in the wall and saw a man and a woman tending to their sheep. I walked into the old barn with dignity, although I hadn't eaten or had anything to drink for days, and told them who I was and what had happened. They barely spoke English, so it was hard for them to understand, but they let me stay with them. They treated me very well and brought me some of the little food they had. That night, I wondered what my family was thinking. They probably thought I was dead or missing in action. I stayed with the kind farmers for twelve days, until Italy was liberated by the Americans. I thanked the farmers and couldn't even express how happy I was that they had let me stay with them. I walked and walked for 747.9 kilometers until I reached Venice, Italy. When I got there, I called back to headquarters and told them I was okay and needed to get back to America.
When I arrived back in America, I told my family what had happened. I told them that what I would remember the most was the kindness the two farmers had shown me. I would also remember the horrors that I saw happen in Hungary and Germany. I saw bombings and people being killed for no reason. I could never forget these memories. I will always remember this significant time in my life, no matter how horrifying it was.