Capt. Presley C. Funk III
From UP (University Park, Texas) to
From an article in “Our Town” in the Park
Cities People. Based upon an interview, May
Excerpts by permission of Lindi Loy Boyer.
Some additional information from later 2004
** Dr. Presley Clyde Funk, Jr.: After the
Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, I knew I had
up. I was accepted in September 1942 as an
Air Cadet in the Army Air Corps. I was
report for cadet training in March, 1943.
This picture is of me sitting on the porch
parents’ home at 3636 Haynie in University
Park in November, 1943, while I was home on
leave following my graduation as a
bombardier from Victorville, CA Army Flying
You certainly can’t tell from the relaxed
pose and smile on my face that I was just
beginning a long, arduous, and
life-threatening journey that would take me
around the world. In early 1944, I was
transported, along with the rest of my crew,
During Operation Overlord (the U.S. code
name for the Normandy invasion) on June 6,
the 387th Bomb Group flew four missions.
Even though I had to think about target,
impact, evasive action, and the desire to
get the hell out of there, it was seeing the
Texas and Arkansas firing salvos at Omaha
Beach that was most amazing. We were flying
low because of the clouds that day that we
could look out and see them on our left.
no one in my crew was wounded on our two
D-day runs during our assigned mission.
I flew 27 missions between May and Oct. 12,
1944, and, in my humble opinion, it was one
too many. On my last mission, October 12,
after we dropped the bombs, we flew right
over a German encampment where guns were
mounted on railroad cars. Our plane was shot
down, and all but one of us bailed out. I
landed inside the German lines where a
16-year-old German soldier with a Mauser
bigger than he
was, pointed it at me and exclaimed, “For
you, the war is over.” We were taken to Raon-
L’ Etape for interrogation and waiting there
was the gun crew that shot us down--waving a
blade of the prop of our plane with date and
time on it like a trophy.
We were incarcerated in Strasbourg from Oct.
16-26, 1944, in an old castle, and then
moved to Oberursel on Oct. 26, where we were
put in solitary confinement for what seemed
like eternity. We were then moved by train
to Sagan, where we starved and froze. We
forced to march on foot from Sagan on Jan.
27, 1945. After 11 freezing, weary days, we
arrived in Moosburg, where we were again
barb wire. It was an incredible sight to see
tens of thousands of men marching during one
of the most horrific winters Germany had
Gen. Vannaman was an exceptional commander.
He had volunteered to parachute behind enemy
lines just to be captured and taken
to a POW camp so he could inspire, lead, and
act as liaison for thousands of prisoners.
One bright spot was our Christmas 1944
Our celebration was led by Col. Goodrich,
who told hilarious, but rather colorful,
parodies of Christmas tales.
On April 28, 1945, a P51 fighter slow rolled
over the camp and waved to us. The next day
Gen. George Patton himself drove into our
camp to liberate us. His tank crew threw us
shells (some of which I still have) since
they had no food for us. I made my own way
and was there for VE Day and from there was
sent home on the USS Monticello, a liberated
Italian luxury liner. There were 5000 of us
1500 passenger ship. I can’t begin to
describe what it felt like to see the United
States flag flying over the Statue of
Liberty as I came into
New York Harbor on June 3, 1945.
** Dr. Presley Clyde Funk Jr. is a 1935
graduate of Highland Park High School in
Dallas, Texas. Highland Park, Texas and
Texas have become islands surrounded by the
city of Dallas over these many years. He
used the GI Bill on his return to go to med