WWII vet writes book about experience

November 12, 2009 10:38:35 AM PST
Chicago trial lawyer Donald Casey has a story to tell, and it's not about his 52 years in the courtroom. It's about his times in WWII as a navigator on a B-17 bomber that was shot down over Germany. "That's a shadow box of my war memorabilia that includes in the center the flight jacket I was wearing the day we were shot down," Casey said pointing to the box. "The plane caught on fire and I bailed out at 23,000 feet."

Of the nine-man crew, only five survived. Casey has a drawing done by his pilot while the two were in a German POW camp.

He also has what he calls his war room in his North side apartment. It is filled with the memories of being a B-17 navigator for 28 missions and of being commissioned a second lieutenant at just 18 years of age. There's barbed wired from his prison camp where he spent 11 long months, and now he has written a book called "To Fight For My Country, Sir!" about those long ago exciting and horrific days.

"I'm glad to tell the story because I remember a friend of mine saying -- and all veterans should keep this in mind -- If you don't write your story down it never happened. And so I've told my story," Casey said.

Casey, a Chicago trial lawyer, is now 85 years old, but his book is about when he was a teenager fighting a war in the skies over Europe, the war and his letters home to his mom.

"I put in the actual letters in print. And then I covered in the book the other things I didn't tell the folks which might be too frightful for them to receive and contemplate," Casey said.

Most people don't realize it, but 40,000 U.S. airmen were killed in WWII and according to Casey, all the survivors had one thing in common: They knew they were going to make it.

"That kept you going. You had to think it was going to happen to the other guy. And that's how we got through it," Casey said.

The book will be available next week on amazon.com.


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