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Honor & Sacrifice Walt & Juanita Ramsey
Walt and Juanita Ramsey of Herrin have a lifetime of memories from more than 60-years of marriage, but there were two terrible months during the Second World War that will always remind them of how precious their time together has been. Walt was a ball turret gunner aboard B-17 Flying Fortresses while Juanita worked in a bomber factory in Michigan to be near her husband's training bases before he was stationed overseas. In 1944, while on a bombing mission to Munich, Walt was shot down over the former Yugoslavia, barely escaping the plane as it blew up around him. Listed as missing in action, his wife and family waited anxiously for news for nearly two months until Juanita received a telegram reporting that Walt was alive. He had been rescued by Communist partisans who risked their lives by smuggling him to a place where he could safely be flown back to American-held territory in Italy. This story was features as part of a project to collect stories from World War II veterans. Learn more about Honor & Sacrifice: WSIU Remembers World War II.