(FOX NEWS) It's recognition more than 70 years in the making.
Eight U.S. service members shot down and captured while fighting Hitler’s Nazi regime finally received long overdue Prisoner of War medals during a ceremony Wednesday at the Pentagon. For decades, the airmen were denied POW status, even though they crashed over Germany and were later held in a prison camp in Wauwilermoos, Switzerland. But after a grandson of one of the airmen fought a 15-year battle to show what they had gone through, including the daring escapes that allowed them to get back to the fight, the Pentagon reversed course.
USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III presented the medals to seven of the veterans and one of their grandsons during the ceremony. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee authorized the awarding of the medal to 143 USAAF airmen earlier this month following a change in criteria. Army Air Corps First Lieutenant James Mahon, 91, is among those to be honored, some 70 years after his imprisonment after he and the rest of his B-17 crew were captured.
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