CT World War II vets tell their stories for Memorial Day

World War II veterans from southwestern Connecticut are sharing their war stories as part of this year?s Memorial Day celebration.

Everett Gidley, 84, of New Canaan, is one of those veterans. Gidley enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force at age 17, shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He flew raids over Germany in a P-47 Thunderbolt by the time he was 21. His plane was shot down over Karlsruhe, Germany in October 1944.

Gidley was later captured by Germans and sent to a POW camp in Nuremburg. He escaped about four months later with the help of Dave Tuholski, another POW. Gidley says the two men pooled their cigarettes and gave them to the guards to facilitate their escape.

?The guard gets out a pair of shears and cuts a hole in the wire fence. Dave and I walk out. No struggle, no nothing,? Gidley said .

The next day, the two men came across the U.S. 45th Division. ?They come up and kiss us and hug us and heist up on their shoulders, put us up on the tank and we go back and liberate the camp. Is that a story or what?? he said.

Gidley held on to mementos from his days in the war. Some of those include a telegram informing his father he had been shot down, a leather flight jacket and a piece of parachute he used to jump over enemy territory.

Gidley and several other World War II veterans are set to speak at the Darien Public Library Sunday, May 27 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the library's building fund.

Click here for the entire interview with Everett Gidley

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