FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Jim Logsden died on New Year's Day in 2006 at the age of 85.
As Christmas approaches, there's an amazing story about this brave World War II veteran that continues to captivate his curious son Jim in Findlay.
"My dad never boasted in his life. He could have probably lived the life of the hero that he was. But he chose not to," said Jim Logsden.
Jim was a 22 year old B-26 pilot from Carey.
In November of 1944, he and other crew members were shot down over Italy by German fighter planes while on a wartime mission.
They were captured by German soldiers, ending up in a concentration camp during the holiday season.
"He spent his 25th birthday in a POW camp. I think that would have to be emotionally tough on any individual," said Jim.
Last year in the mail, Jim received a stunning package.
Inside were fragments of his dad's plane.
They were sent to him by an Italian man who, in his youth, saw the plane crash into a mountain near the village of Nago, Italy.
Jim yearned to know more about his dad's near fatal mission.
"I think the one thing was going to the crash site. The primary goal was to go up and see where the parts of the plane were found," he said.
In September, that's exactly what Jim did.
He was joined by another crew member of his dad, Gerry Smith.
They went to the crash site, got out metal detectors and you'll never believe what they unearthed.
There was an exhaust manifold, windshield glass, machine gun casings and other parts of Jim's B-26.
The biggest find was a stainless steel brake rotor, which Jim will frame.
But there was yet another stop on Jim's journey, Stalag Seven in Mooseburg, Germany, where his dad spent that cold, dreary Christmas.
All that's left is one decaying building.
The camp was liberated by U.S. troops in January, 1945.
Jim never told his son about his wartime experience until months before he died.
"As he survived the mission, his gratitude to the good Lord for allowing him to make it through it kept him going. Got him through those days," said Jim.
Jim Logsden received a Purple Heart for that bomber mission.
His son's mission to Italy gives him answers to questions about his father's past.
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