Army Air Forces Veteran Milton W. Stern is today's Veteran of the day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Air Forces Veteran Milton W. Stern, who served during World War II and was a prisoner of war.

Milton W. Stern grew up in Rochester, New York, and attended school to become an Air Force cadet. Stern’s started flying new airplanes from Nebraska across the ocean. In February 1944, Stern and his crew flew a northern route. This unusual route proved to be dangerous because the crew experienced heavy overcast and flew directly above the water.

After crossing the Atlantic, the men attempted to land in Ireland, but instead landed in Scotland. In March 1944, they flew their first daylight mission over Berlin, shot down over the Netherlands.

Dutch citizens aided Stern, taking him to a small town where others hid. Later, they moved to Belgium. There, he reunited with five of his crew members. When an airplane for England never arrived, the men had to stay in hiding.

Stern and his radio man were separated from the others and continued on the move for three months to prevent reports of their location. On May 27, 1944, the Gestapo discovered them. Stern expected the Gestapo to kill the family hiding him  and him immediately. Instead, a patrol car took them to the Gestapo headquarters where Stern reunited with the rest of his crew. Later, they discovered the Dutch leader turned them in.

On June 1944, an invasion on the prison camp transferred them to the Citadel. Captors placed Stern in solitary confinement. In July, 14 of his Belgium friends were shot one at a time while he was forced to watch. Stern remarked that he believed the Germans were using this tactic to gain a confession from them.

The Germans sent Stern an officer’s camp in northern Germany. He arrived in July 1944, but it wasn’t until May 1945 that Russians finally liberated Stern.

He kept detailed records of his experiences in Germany in his memoirs entitled Kriegie Memoirs of 1944-1945.

More information on his story is at

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Melissa L. Ter Burgh

Editor: Michelle Cannon

Fact checker: Vivian Hurney

Graphic artist: Deanna Cannon

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Published on Jun. 19, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.4 min.

Views to date: 183


  1. Senior Veterans Care Network June 21, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    We honor the service of Milton W. Stern.

  2. Jon Wilson June 19, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    I wish I felt the VA actually cares I have asked for appointment three times for eye exam being a diabetic kind of important. the increase in vet satisfaction is not believed. at least in my case. if I feel a real need I am much more likely to go to an outside doctor then listen to the VA doctor fuss about continuity of care at least I get to see a doctor which I feel cares

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