Wed.: ‘Dinner & Dialogue’ with Vet. George Michel
By Katrina Neveri
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside's Student Military Appreciation Week (SMAW) continues with a "Dinner and Dialogue" featuring World War II Veteran George Michel. The dinner begins Wednesday, April 11, at 5 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.
At 18 years old, Michel was drafted under the Selective Service Act in March of 1943. Michel was assigned to the 392nd Bomb Group/576th Bomb Squadron. He was trained to be a radio operator and gunner on a 4-engine B-24 bomber, commonly called the Liberator. Michel was one member of a 10 man crew, which consisted of a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier, engineer, radio operator, and 4 gunners. Michel's rank at the time was Technical Sergeant.
Five days after D-Day, July 11, 1944, Michel's crew ran into trouble on their 10th mission while flying to Munich, Germany. Halfway through the mission, there was a mechanical problem with one engine and another was hit by enemy fire shortly after.
Michel's plane couldn't keep up with the 1,100+ bombers in the formation. They were forced to make an emergency landing as far away from the enemy target as possible. The pilot crash landed the plane 150 kilometers east of Munich. It would take Michel a harrowing 6 months to escape from Germany.
"It's an intriguing and historic story that needs to be told. Students often forget the extreme dangers our military faces, and Mr. Michel's story is a great example of that heroism," said Tony Kwiatkowski, Student Activities Coordinator at UW-Parkside.Hear George Michel's inspiring story about his escape through Germany and into Switzerland Wednesday at 5 p.m., and get a free dinner as well. To attend the event, sign up in Student Activities, room L104 of the Student Center. The office is open today from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.