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News | Sept. 24, 2015

Former POW shares story of capture, liberation during remembrance ceremony

By Janeen Hayes DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

Employees at the Naval Supply Activity Philadelphia experienced living history as the story of a former World War II prisoner of war was told during a POW/MIA remembrance ceremony Sept. 15.

Although wheel-chair bound, John Bulovas was in attendance as his story was told through video.

Throughout the video, the 94-year-old former POW recalled being captured by German forces in 1943.

“I remember looking over and seeing my captain being hauled away,” he said. “Then I was captured.”

Bulovas was just over two weeks into his deployment in Europe when he was captured and sent to a prison camp, also known as a “stalag.”

He recalled his days in the camp where he was assigned as head commander for his work group of seven to eight other POWs.

“We would work in the fields hauling potatoes,” he said. “I remember guys would fight and I would break it up.”

Programs like this ensure that those who made profound sacrifices for our nation are remembered and honored, Navy Capt. Christopher Mosher, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Subsistence supply chain director, said.

Mosher, who welcomed attendees, thanked Bulovas for sharing his experience.

“We are honored by your presence and by your story,” Mosher said. “We want to thank you for your service during World War II, your sacrifice as a prisoner of war and your being a part of America’s greatest generation that changed the course of history.”

In May 1945, Bulovas was liberated by the 7th Army. He said many people tried to escape but he is grateful that he was freed.

“I put (the capture) behind me,” he said. “I am happy I am still alive.”

The Philadelphia Compound Veterans Committee sponsored the event, which focused on remembering all the men and women who were held as POWs and who are still missing in action.