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Question regarding POW eligibility


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I know this might not be the proper forum but I thought someone here might be able to help answer a couple of questions regard US POWs. I was contacted by someone whose father was in the US Navy and taken prisoner by the Vichy French. He managed to escape a short time later and make it back to Britain. He had been told that he wasn't eligible for prisoner of war status because: 1. he was taken by the Vichy and 2. he wasn't a POW "long enough." I don't have a lot of details yet but does that makes sense? Did someone need to be a prisoner for a certain amount of time before they were actually considered a POW?
His daughter would like for him to be recognized as a POW even though he passed away several years ago.

Any help would be very much appreciated and thank you!

Eric

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These men are recognized as POWs. Even the internees of neutral countries are now recognized as POWs in the context of being issued the POW medal.

 

Kurt

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Here is a link to a group to a man who also was a POW of the Vichy French. There is a document in his group listing him as a POW even during WWII.

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/186871-purple-heart-group-to-a-massacre-at-oran-nov-8-1942-1st-arm-div/?hl=vichy

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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I have a little more information on S2C Buzza.

 

S2c Buzza served aboard the U.S.S. Oberon during Operation Torch. During the landings, the LCM he helped crew suffered mechanical issues and was grounded during high tide. He with the rest of the crew moved inland where Mr. Buzza was captured by the Vichy on November 8 (the same day) at Rabat, Morocco. One of the letters states he was released on November 24th, but another says that is when he rejoined his ship in Virginia. The Navy sent his family a telegram stating he was missing and believed to have been taken POW (they don't have a copy of this telegram unfortunately). They do have a copy of the telegram from the Navy stating that Mr. Buzza "is now known to be a survivor and has been returned to duty aboard his ship."

 

In 1992 he sent an inquiry to the regional office of the Department of Veterans Affairs asking to be considered for POW status. The Department declined his request for "POW protocol examination" due to the issue that he was (according to the letter he received back) "detained by the French from the period November 8, 1942 through November 24, 1942. In order for us to schedule a POW protocol examination, you must have been a Prisoner of War for a period of 30 days or more. Since you were detained by the French for 17 days, we are unable to schedule an examination, because you do not meet the VA POW eligibility requirements."

 

Was this an outright lie? Or, are VA POW eligibility requirements different from US Navy/Military requirements? If his daughter applies for the POW medal is she likely to get it and will that mean he will be officially recognized as a POW?

I know it's a lot of questions and probably not an easy set of answers but any guidance is very much appreciated by Mr. Buzza's family.

 

Eric

 

 

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I have a group to a WW2 Armed Guard veteran whose ship was torpedoed and he was "rescued" (taken out of his lifeboat at gunpoint) by the U-boat crew. He was held on the submarine for twelve hours, but finally released as they didn't have room to hold the prisoners. I've always been curious if he was eligible for the POW medal, as he was a POW for twelve hours. He has passed on so unfortunately I don't know if he ever applied for the POW medal or not...

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia

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