San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 16th, 2009
POW-MIA Remembrance Day to be held at VFW Hall


National POW-MIA Remembrance Day is celebrated the third Friday of September in honor of all Prisoners of War (POWs) and soldiers who are considered Missing in Action (MIA).

On Sept 18, at 7 p.m., VFW Post 3413 will hold its annual POW-MIA Remembrance program at the VFW Hall, 1701 Hunter Road in San Marcos.

The program is open to all members of the San Marcos community. The event will feature guest speakers Kim Porterfield and William E. Roberts Jr. Porterfield is a San Marcos City Councilmember and Roberts is a retired Major in the United States Air Force.

In 1942, Major Roberts enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He served as an aerial gunner on B-17 aircraft with the 463rd Bomb Group. He was shot down on his 45th mission on July, 7, 1944. At that point in his career, he had 203 combat hours and two enemy aircraft to his credit.

He was held as a Prisoner of War in Poland for 11 months, part of which was spent marching out of the country and across Northern Germany just ahead of the advancing Russian army. He was liberated by the British in May of 1945. He was in Brussels, Belgium in time for VE Day.

Roberts attended the University of Pittsburgh after the war, earning a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy. He was recalled to the service in 1949 and served for 24 years until his retirement in 1966. His many awards and decorations include the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart and the American Order of the French Croix de Guerre.

He now serves as National Director of the American Ex-Prisoners of War. He also volunteers with other veterans groups in San Antonio.

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