Four mid-Missouri veterans today were awarded Silver Star banners at the State Capitol, in honor of their past military service.
Among them was 88-year-old Wilburn Rowden of Jefferson City, a World War II vet who served as a radio operator onboard a B-17 bomber. His plane was shot down over Germany, and he spent the rest of the war as a POW.
“In accordance with what I read and hear about the other prisoners in Japan and Korea and so forth, we had humane treatment, considering," Rowden said. "Some of it wasn’t too humane...a lot of times, things were pretty rough…food was the biggest thing, we had no food.”
Rowden was among a group of prisoners forced to march more than 500 miles over 88 days to Bitterfeld in central Germany, where they were handed over to American troops on April 26th, 1945.
Silver Star banners were also awarded to three Vietnam veterans: Roger Stottlemyre, Don Hentges, and David Mauldin. Stottlemyre now works as Executive Director of the Missouri Gaming Commission and is the former superintendent of the Missouri Highway Patrol.