Belmont Village Heros Jim Eckman

James Eckman

Staff Sgt., U.S. Army Air Corps
Resident, Belmont Village St. Matthews-Louisville, KY

“I was proud to be part of it and proud to give my share like others. During World War II, I was a ball turret gunner aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress. My first mission was on June 6, 1944 — D-Day. I was shot down on my 26th mission over Stuttgart, Germany, close to Switzerland. Two engines shut down and we couldn’t get back across Allied lines. We threw everything out of the plane and crash landed in an old airfield. We were interned in Switzerland for about 9 or 10 months, before we escaped into South France.”