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The World War II Collection of Edgar Robert Pohle

810 Main Street Museum

Pohle display case

Edgar Pohle, the son of a well-known Honesdale merchant, was born on his mother's birthday, May 7, 1917. He graduated from Honesdale High School, and then worked with his father for eight years before being drafted into the United States Air Force on February 4, 1943. He was trained as an aerial gunner and assigned to a B-24 Liberator Bomber the Betty Jean, 217 based in southern Italy. On January 19, 1944, during its sixth mission as a member of the 449th Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force and just after releasing its bombs, the plane was hit by enemy shells, and caught fire. The crew of ten bailed out, landed 150 miles behind enemy lines, and was reported "missing in action" in northern Italy. This was Pohle's first parachute jump, which ended in a tree breaking his fall, and landed without a scratch. For six months Sgt. Pohle evaded being taken prisoner by hiding out, sleeping in barns and hilltops, working for a sympathetic farming family in the mountains of central Italy, and walked several hundred miles back to where his squadron was stationed in southern Italy. He returned to Honesdale to resume work in his father's store, Pohle Clothing Store, 809 Main Street which was directly across the street from the building in which this exhibit is housed.