Lake Charles vet witnessed WWII German concentration camp
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Bobby Gunn of Lake Charles will turn 93 this Sunday, but he vividly remembers where he was 74 years ago.
“On Christmas Day, 1944, we crossed the English Channel and we went to Rouen, France,” recalls Gunn. “We were right by Le Havre. I was scared to death, I was 18 years old. We landed at Ruene France.”
Gunn served in the Army and recalls his first encounter with a German jet plane. It’s something he and his fellow gunners had never seen before. “Scared me to death when I realized that it wasn’t normal. We had already practiced shooting at sleeves and this sort of thing. But nothing quite like that. We could see those tracers coming down that river. They were way behind that plane.”
Later, Gunn’s unit moved into Germany and witnessed two concentration camps. One had about 33 thousand political prisoners. Gunn says many of them lay dead on the ground. The smell of burning bodies permeated the air.
“They had those civilians burning up corpses. It was...you don’t forget it. It will never go away. I saw things much worse than that afterwards. but that was in april 1945, about a month before the war was over.” Gunn says seeing those concentration camps was something he’ll never forget. Gunn came home from war and later had a career with the U.S. Postal service in Lake Charles.
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