FRED HARGESHEIMER, REMEMBERING A DEBT OWED
On March 9, 2008 I wrote about a unique man, Fred Hargesheimer, https://paulluverajournalonline.com/weblog/2008/03/an-inspiring-st.html He was P-38 fighter pilot in the Southwest Pacific who was on a photographic reconnaissance mission when the Japanese shot his plane down on June 5, 1943. Fred parachuted and ended up in the jungle. For some thirty one days he managed to barely survive when he was found by local natives who were hunting. They took him to their village and for seven months they nursed him back to health, hid him from Japanese patrols and protected him. In February of 1944, working with Australian commandos, who were behind enemy lines, he was rescued by a U.S. submarine off of New Britain beach.
He returned to the U.S. and after the war worked for a computer company. He said he never forgot about the people of Papua New Guinea who rescued hm so he raised money to build the villages first school. Over the rest of his life he raised money for t hings like a library to help nearby village's. In 1970 he and his wife moved to the villages where the taught the children over a four year period. On his last visit in 2006 the villages took him to the wreckage of his airplane which they had discovered. He continued to raise money and help them until his death this week in Lincoln, Nebraska at age ninety four.