[Twelfth Armored Division, Scrapbook 6] Page: 79 of 220
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POW Compiling Book About Experience
During the recent hostage crisis, one
Orient resident may have had a better
understanding of the plight of the
Americans held captive than many other of
T/Sgt. Fred "Mike” Gorman was a
prisoner of war (POW) during the latter
months of World War H.
As such, he experienced the sense of
helplessness and terror of being subject to
detainment by — and the whims of — a
"I could identify with the Iranian hostages
and with these guys (the Beirut hostages)
and they maybe had it even a little
rougher," he said.
“These were civilians — we were civilian
soldiers, but we had training. At the time
we were captured we were prepared to die.
We didn’t want to, but-we thought we
would. When we were captured we knew
we were their enemy. The American
hostages probably didn’t know why it was
At the conclusion of the war, Gorman put
his experiences as a POW behind him and
went about picking up the pieces of his life.
Managing the local implement store in 1965
and later taking up farming.
Recently, however, he has become vety
interested in the plight of American POW s
and in documenting their experiences.
Gorman was a member of the Twelfth Ar-
mored Division or "Hellcats." Also known
as the "Mystery Division," is spearheaded
much of General George Patton’s drive to
After retiring from farming in 1983, he
and his wife attended a reunion of the
Twelfth Armored Division and found his in-
terest in his time as a POW being rekindled.
He has since written a first person nar-
rative describing his experiences as a
Prisoner of War in Nazi Germany, and he is
currently compiling another book which will
recount the stories of other POWs.
He also contributes a regular column to
the Hellcat News called ‘ ‘At your Service. ’ ’
He is also the Division Service Officer and
Ex-POW Coordinator for the Twelfth Ar-
mored Division Association.
He plans to present the completed
manuscript of POW recollections to the
Association at its 39th Anniversary in Orlan-
On July 19 he plans to attend a POW/MIA
Recognition Day at the Veterans Ad-
FRED “MIKE” GORMAN takes
great pride in the unit in which he
served daring WWU, and his per-
ministration Outpatient Clinic in Columbus.
"I guess I was just never much of a
veteran until I retired," he said. "Then after
the reunion I began to change my mind.
Despite that fact that about 85 members of
the Association pass away each year, our
membership is growing, because we old duf-
fels are getting interested. They aren’t mak-
ing anymore of us."
sonalized license plates reflect
Certificate of Appreciation
This certificate is awarded to
MME IN DEFENSE OF
the United states op America
Gilbert Heine President \
Twelfth Armored Division Association
The History of the POWs of the 12th Armored
Division will continue to develop as long as we
live, but this is a start. He then made the
presentation with the words: "President Heine
from these former Prisoners of War standing before
H “l°‘hers no£ present today, we present this
I59BB ST0RY OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR OF THE
TWELFTH armored DIVISION" for the Association;
to help fill the gap in our history." (A copy of
the book was also given to each ex-POW.)
Article by: Norbert H. Bruemmer, Executive Secretary
Reprinted from the Nov.-1985 Issue of the
CEREMONY TO HONOR POW*s
A ceremony to recognize ex-POWs of our I2th Armored
Division was produced by Service Office Fred "Mike"
Gorman, himself an ex-POW. It was one of the high-
lights of our reunion, and dimmed many an eye, and
stirred a feeling of pride in having served with these
The program went as follows:
1. President Heine invited all ex-POWs to come for-
ward and take seats marked for them facing the
2. President Heine then read "Profile of a Prisoner
of War” prepared by Service Officer Gorman. (See
3. Secretary Bruemmer approached the dias and
described the certificates and barbed wire pins to be
presented to each ex-POW. He then asked all former
POWs to stand, and asked that applause be held until
the end of the ceremony.
4. As the name of each ex-POW was read by the
secretary, a team composed of President Heine, 1st
F*F» Mizen, and Mrs. Gorman and Hoeweler (wives of
ex-POWs) honored each ex-POW. President Heine presented
the certificate and 1st V.P. Mizen pinned on the lapel
pin as Mrs. Gorman handed certificates to President
Heine, and Mrs. Hoeweler handed the barb wire lapel
pins to 1st V.P. Mizen.
5. The ex-POWs were then given a standing ovation by
the membership and were reseated.
6. Mike Gorman, Service Officer and POW Coordinator
then presented the book "POWs of the 12th Armored Divi-
sion" to President Heine to be placed in the historical
archives of the 12th Armored Division Association.
7. The program was concluded as President Heine
dismissed the ex-POWs and thanked them for the book
that had been contributed to our association.
Ex—POWs who participated in the program were as
William Anderson (A/23)
Fred Bixby (A/17)
Joseph Boland (B/493)
Joe Cook (C/66)
Stephen Czecha (C/66)
Marvin R. Drum (A/17)
Charles M. Fitts, Jr. (C/66)
William H. Funke (A/17)
Fred M. "Mike" Gorman (C/134)
Kenneth W. Hewitt (A/17)
Robert F. Hoeweler (C/66)
Jack Kurtz (A/493)
James J. LaFond (B/17)
William Little (A/17)
Merle B. Loomis (B/714)
James T. Lynch (B/43)
Ladislaus Malek (C/66)
Dale E. Matheny (C/66)
Otis L. Moore (C/43)
Donald T. McMullen (C/119)
Nicholas Novosel (Hq/43)
George O'Bryan (C/66)
Vernon Pense (C/119)
James K. Turner (B/714)
Robert C. White (C/43)
John Willsey (B/17)
Joseph T. Wood (C/66)
Leon E. Zitske (C/66)
Other ex-POWs honored, who were not in attendance
Carl Helton (A/17)
Paul J. Hopkins (A/17)
The presentation of the POW book
Division involved the following
Service Officer Mike Gorman:
satlon with Ken Bradstreet revealed that a can In
BbMW WMBMiffl I
nothing on the prisoners of war.
"Heiicat News” we appealed for
was1Ilvery0gratifying?SPOnSe ^ H B ^B
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United States. Army. 12th Armored Division. [Twelfth Armored Division, Scrapbook 6], book, Date Unknown; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth639084/m1/79/?q=Concentration: accessed August 15, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.