ESCANABA – Tom Carmody spoke of his time as a POW during World War II during a POW MIA ceremony Friday in Ludington Park. The 88-year-old Wells man says he credits his survival at a prison in Poland to living in the U.P.
“I was lucky because I came from this part of the country,” Carmody said. “It was about the same temperature and same weather.”
Carmody was a prisoner of war for six months.
“You had one loaf of bread a day for ten men and you had two bowls of soup,” remembered Carmody. “No meat. Just vegetables in the soup. That’s all. You couldn’t live on something like that.”
The Germans took their uniforms and forced them to work on a railroad. Only 16 men survived. Carmody remembers the day they were freed.
“They took what was left of us. They had a wagon. They tied ropes around those of us that could walk and the other ones they put inside the wagon and started walking us towards Czechoslovakia. That night we moved into this town in Czechoslovakia and they put us in this building to stay. The next morning we woke up and looked around. There were no guards,” he said.
Carmody says he was unable to talk about his experiences for a long time and even now it still bothers him. Last Wednesday, he traveled to Washington D.C. with the U.P. Honor Flight to see the World War II Memorial.