Lance's Journal: Bill Schock is a Hero, May 23, 2014

Bill Schock was born in Falls City, Nebraska on August 6, 1918.

He graduated from Falls City High School in 1936 and he got a journalism degree from UNL in 1940.

Bill was 22 years old when he volunteered for the draft and headed off to serve his country during World War II.

Bill started serving his country in 1941m "We were just playing soldier there for the first ten months and then on Pearl Harbor Day we became soldiers."

Bill soon became a B-17 bomber pilot, "On October the 8th of 1943, I made my first combat raid. In the first week I was in combat we lost a 156 B-17's and that's about 1,500 men that ended up either prisoners of war or killed."

Eight months and 24 missions later, Bill and his crew went on a bombing run to Marienburg, East Prussia in April of 1944, "We hit the target real good and they said, according to the historical society, it was one of the best bomb drops of the entire war."

On the way back to England, Bill's bomber sustained a direct hit from a flak battery, "It started a heck of a fire so I'd seen too many explode and I knew exactly what was going to happen, so I bailed the crew out and we parachuted into Denmark."

Bill and what was left of his crew became German prisoners of war.

Bill endured 2 days of intense interrogation, "I remember they briefed us on becoming a prisoner of war and what you should do when you're a prisoner of war. You should keep your ears and your eyes and your bowels open and your mouth shut."

Bill says his sense of humor and his faith helped him survive 13 long months as a P.O.W, "You didn't have anything else to do but look at the wall and wonder, 'Am I going to be alive tomorrow?'"

Fortunately, World War II ended in September of 1945 and Capt. Schock headed back to Falls City a hero.