Paratrooper “Angels” of WWII

 ‘Oh, my God. Look, the angels are coming.’

Here is an article about the life of 95 year old Henry “Cowboy” Kusmierczykhey and his recollection of participating in the liberation of a brutal Japanese Concentration Camp in the Philippines. The detail in this article, his recollections bring meaning to my life today.

“Cowboy” and other Army Paratroopers succeeded in freeing more than 2,100 civilians and military personnel from the camp, known as Los Banos. The sight of paratroopers floating down to earth, Kusmierczyk said, prompted some of the prisoners to describe their liberators as angels. The raid to liberate this camp was considered one of great risk, and great neccessity. The camp held military, and civilian men, women and children.

Cowboy recalls, “They said, ‘Oh, my God. Look, the angels are coming.’ That’s how’s the 11th Airborne got its nickname ‘The Angels.’ ”


Henry “Cowboy” Kusmierczyk, left, Staff Sgt. Charles Egbert, right, along with Hal and Paquita Bowie holding their daughter, Lea, after Kusmeirczyk’s division liberated the family and 2,100 others from a brutal Japanese internment camp. (Photo courtesy of the Kusmierczyk family)

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