Lake Charles man was Prisoner of War during Korean Conflict - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles man was Prisoner of War during Korean Conflict

August Sterling was a frogman for the U.S. Navy when in 1951, he was captured by the Korean Army, while setting charges to a bridge they would about to destroy.

"When we came up, we were shocked and surprised. It was something. They shot in the water to scare us I guess. Then we couldn't swim away. So we couldn't escape the bullets that was going to hit the water, so we gave in."

Out of the five frog men, only two survived. They stayed in prison for over 2 and a half years.

"They would beat us 25 hours a day and we ain't got 25 hours in a day. They never would stop. Trying to get us to tell everything we knew and all we would say is our name, rank and serial number."

The war had already ended when President Dwight Eisenhower negotiated a prisoner exchange, releasing Sterling and others.  He had two broken legs, a broken arm and had to have a metal plate surgically implanted.  After being released from the POW camp in Korea, he was sent back to Lake Charles to be treated at St. Patrick's Hospital.

"I can't remember none of it. All I know is when I woke up, when I came to, I was on the 5th floor at St. Pat's. That was a long time after I left the prison camp. I never knew I had left prison camp. I thought I was still captured. I didn't know."

Sterling later met and married his wife Theresa. They've been together for 58 years.

"I went through a lot. But I knew it wasn't him," said Theresa.  "When he would get in one of his moods, I'd just leave him alone. Then afterward, he would metal down. And it was okay."

Sterling now stays involved as a charter member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

  

Copyright 2014  KPLC. All rights reserved.

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