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For information about the Veterans Park contact:

Nederland Parks & Recreation Department
2301 Avenue H
Nederland, TX 77627 
Phone: 409-724-0773

 

For information about the Database contact:

Marion & Ed Hughes
Public Library

2712 Nederland Avenue
Nederland, TX 77627 
Phone: 409-722-1255

Database Number   463
Name   Guzardo, Louis Rayford
Birth Date   6 April 1924
Birth Place   Nederland, Jefferson Co., Texas
Death Date    
Death Place    
Cause of Death    
Place of Burial    
   
Service Branch   Air Force

Company/Regiment
Batallion/Unit

  459th Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force
Rank/Grade   Staff Sergeant
Date of Enlistment    
Date of Discharge    
Service Occupation    
Decorations   Air Medal with oak leaf cluster; Purple Heart; POW Medal; Good Conduct Medal
Locations of Military Service   Italy
     
Father   Tony Guzardo
Mother   Louise C. Guzardo
Spouse   Virginia B. Guzardo
Date of Marriage    
Children    
   
   
Education    
Additional Biographical Information    
Civilian Occupation    
   
Date Added to Database   28 July 2015
Source of Service Information   Veteran and Discharge document
Oral History  

 

Photograph  

 

Transcript of Information  

Per Mr. Guzardo"

I was drafted into regular Army in February 1943. After basic training in St. Petersburg Florida, I was able to switch to the Air Force.

After about a year of training as a gunman, I was a tail gunner on a B-24. I was glad to be on a B-24 because I had worked at Consolidated B-24 factory in San Diego. Our crew was given a new B-24 in New York and from there we flew to Southern Italy and assigned to the 15th Air Force. To get there, we flew from New York to Miami Flo. then to Trinidad, to Natal, Brazil to Beleza, Brazil to Dakar Africa to Italy.

Flew our first mission on March 2, 1944. We bombed Velletri, Italy. This was not far from the beachhead at Anzio. We continued to bomb targets in Italy, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria, Poland & France until our last mission, my 43rd -- to Blechhammer, Germany. We had two engines knocked out and fuel leaks from anti-aircraft guns., we called it flak. We wanted to make it to Yugoslavia and bail out there, but lost too much altitude and had to crash land in Hungary. We were captured by Hungarian civilians and turned over to the Germans.

The Germans took us to a big prison in Budapest. They interrogated us there by train in box car with capacity of 8 horses or 40 men, we ever 50 men to a box car. In a week or so we arrived at German prison camp Stalag Luft IV. Was there about 9 months then had to march about 600 miles slept in barns usually, until the group I was in was liberated by the British 8th Army, about April 10. In a week or so we had a plane ride to Belgium. About a week there, then to Camp Lucky Strike I believe in France. Then a boat to New York. Then home. Was discharged Sept 2, 1945.

About a year later in October 1946, I opened Guzardo's Feed & Supply on Highway 347 in Nederland at age 22 sold the store in 1999 after 53 years at age 75 and retired.

 

Documents  
Guzardo_Louis_Rayford-4

Guzardo_Louis_Rayford-5

    Guzardo_Louis_Rayford-1  
    Guzardo_Louis_Rayford-2a Guzardo_Louis_Rayford-2b
    Guzardo_Lous_Rayford-3a Guzardo_Louis_Rayford-3b
Articles  

Port Arthur News, 30 July 1944, pg. 10

Guzardo_Louis_Rayford_article1

Chronicle, 4 August 1944, pg. 1

Guzardo_Louis_Rayford_article2

   

Port Arthur News, 22 Sep 1944, pg. 1

Guzardo_Louis_Rayford_article3

Port Arthur News, 7 Jun 1945, pg. 12

Guzardo_Louis_Rayford_article4

Notes  

Mr. Guzardo provided copies of information from the following sources. Since copyright may apply to the information/format of the data, we are including links to them:

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD -- PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF 104th CONGRESS ,FIRST SESSION VOL.141     WASHINGTON, MONDAY MAY 8, 1995     NO.75 -- SENATE --
COMMEMORATING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FORCED MARCH OF AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR FROM STALAG LUFT IV online at http://stalagluft4.org/record.html.

Profile for Louis R. Guzardo at WW2pow Info online at http://www.ww2pow.info/index.php?page=directory&rec=71251

Information on 459th Bombardment Group Heavy, B-24 Liberators of World War II online at http://www.459bg.org/Guzardo_Louis_G4906_459BG.cfm