World War II POW to share his story at NJROTC’s Military Salute
A World War II veteran who was a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III will be the guest speaker at Ramona High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps’ Military Salute on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The salute will start at 5 p.m. in the high school gymnasium, 1401 Hanson Lane. All are welcome.
Lt. Col. Ralph Kling, U.S. Air Force retired, will share his experiences in the war at 6:45 p.m. Kling, a Ramona resident, joined the Army Air Corps with his twin brother after both graduated high school in 1942.
A member of the 388th Fighter Squadron, he became a prisoner of war when his P47 Thunderbolt plane was hit over Luxembourg, Germany, on Sept. 21, 1944.
Those familiar with the film “The Great Escape” have heard of Stalag Luft III, where Kling was a POW.
After three months there, the prisoners spent a week walking in snow and riding in box cars, nearly starving to death. He then was held in Mooseborg’s Wehrmacht Camp for two and a half months and was freed on April 29, 1945.
He will tell his story at the Military Salute, which also will include several other formal ceremonies honoring the military and will end with a cake cutting ceremony and social at 7:45 p.m.
A silent auction and bake sale also are planned.
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