Thursday, August 29, 2013
King Michael visits American prisoners
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August 29, 1943
King Michael of Romania, accompanied by his mother, Queen Helen, paid a visit yesterday to 70 United States flyers, who are being held at Sinaia, after the a raid on the Ploesti oil field on August 1.
The report was made by semi-diplomatic sources and released today, by the Associated Press.
The King, who speaks fluent English, offered to write to the prisoners' families "personally." One of the POWs, in a back row, shouted "Couldn't you cable?'
The Americans are being held at one of the "many fine hotels" in Sinaia, which is the summer resort of the royal family. The main palace was built by Carol I. According to the report, they are receiving "special medical care." The dead were buried with military honors" at a special "heroes" cemetery at Ploesti.
Twenty of "the huge fleet of United States Liberators" which attacked the Ploesti oilfields on August 1 failed to return to base. The men who are being held at Sinaia, "were among those parachuted or landed crippled craft on enemy soil."
Several Americans told Romanian intelligence officers that they "were manhandled by peasants and oil field worker" before being taken into custody by the army.
The interrogators told the Americans that every effort "would be made to catch the offenders," and they would be shot if found guilty.