'Like Getting My Father Back': WWII POW's Art Returned To His Family
Art Business

‘Like Getting My Father Back’: WWII POW’s Art Returned To His Family

Howard Weistling created his comic book A Western out of cigarette wrappers and flattened soup cans while he was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II. Howard Weistling wanted to be a comic strip artist. But when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Weistling felt compelled to enlist in the Army. Mike Weistling, Howard’s grandson, loved to hear his grandfather’s war stories. "He probably told me a lot of stories that were not appropriate for a child to hear," Mike Weistling says. After flight engineer training, Howard was shipped off to Europe. On his maiden flight, his plane was shot down over Austria. Mike has the actual rip cord hung on his wall in Flagstaff, Ariz. The entire crew of eight men landed safely. But a farmer found Howard hiding in his barn and turned him over to a prisoner of war camp in Barth, Germany. Howard’s son Morgan Weistling says it was freezing and the men almost starved to death eating the guards’ garbage. "German soldiers would open the door and after they had their food would throw their plates on the floor," says Morgan Weistling. Hungry and homesick Howard coped the only way he knew […]

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