Former resident, WWII vet , to receive long deserved medal

Clayton, N.M.- Simon (Stan) Rouswell, formerly of Cimarron County will receive on Nov. 14, a long deserved medal as a former POW.

Rouswell, 84, was a SSgt, Flight Engineer, on a B-17, and was shot down over Vienna, Austria, on Aug. 7, 1944.

Rouswell was wounded in the plane as it was being shot down and then broke his leg upon landing in a parachute.

He was captured and held in a POW camp until the summer, of 1945, when he was liberated by the Russian Army.

 

Rouswell never received his Prisoner of War Medal, until the intervention of N.M. Senators, Bingaman and Domenici, and Congressman Udall.

Rouswell was born in Boise City, on Nov. 29, 1920.

His parents were early settlers in Cimarron County.

He also lived in Ville Green Colo. and finally settled in Clayton.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on Oct 3, 1942 in Santa Fe NM.

After being trained on every part and job in a B- 17 Bomber, he was shipped to Tunisia, North Africa.

He was the Flight Engineer, but also acted as gunner in the top turret when needed. He was a part of a ten man crew.

Once Italy was secured, his squadron was reassigned to Fogaia, Italy to resume bombing of Nazi occupied Europe.

On their 13 th mission, they were bombing Vienna when attacked by ME 109 fighters while receiving flack from ground fire.

They had lost two engines to fighters on their way in, but were still able to deliver their bombs. On the way out, they were attacked again. This time, unable to fend off the fighters, they were shot down.

Sgt Rouswell was wounded during these attacks but continued to do his job until bailing out.

Upon landing in the parachute, his leg was broken.

He was captured by ground forces and taken to a hospital in Budapest, Hungary, where he spent the next four months. After some recovery he was sent to a prison camp outside of Budapest for one month. He was then transferred to Luf #1 Prison Camp in northern Germany at Keifi, on the Baltic Sea.

He was given a half a bale of straw and one wool blanket to brave the extreme cold in the winter. He suffered frostbite of the extremities which still bothers him 60 years later.

He has described a very unsavory menu, of donkey, mashed potatoes, sour kraut, and hard brown bread, and not very much of anything else. They were served only one meal on most days.

 

He went from 196 to 128 pounds, before the ordeal was over.

The camp was liberated 1945.

Rouswell was brought to California for recuperation and then later discharged at Sheppard Field, at Wichita Falls, Texas.

His Decorations include the Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, American Campaign Medal, European -African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, AAF Tech Badge, AAF Air Crew Wings, Honorable Service lapel Button WWII.

Rouswell's POW medal will be presented on Sunday, Nov. 14 at Harvest Baptist Church, 17 S. First St., Clayton.

 

Boise City News, P.O. Box 278
105 W. Main Street
Boise City, Oklahoma 73933-0278
Phone: 580 544-2222
Fax: 580 544-3281
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