Roy J. Fulco
1 Lt
U. S. Army Air Forces
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 02/1943 - 10/1945
B-24 Pilot, 93rd Bomb Group

Roy was born in his grandmother's house in the "seven hundred block" of Lawrence Street in Shreveport, to Joseph R. Fulco and Rosa (or Rose) Feducia. All four of his grandparents came from Cefalu, a town in Sicily. His parents were born in America. He recalls his paternal grandmother insisting the family speak English. His father owned a roofing and sheet metal business. "He didn't average bringing home fifteen dollars a week," Roy says. Graduating from Fair Park High School in 1939, he entered a flight cadet program, passing the test on July 15, 1942. Meanwhile, until he was called up, he worked at Louisiana Ordnance Plant, then with Silas Mason Company, a construction firm. Roy entered service in February of 1943, reporting for pre-flight training at Randolph Field in San Antonio. He took primary and basic flight schools in El Reno, Oklahoma, and Winfield, Kansas, and twin-engine training at Pampa, Texas. After earning his commission on December 5, 1943, Roy received orders for B-24 school in Liberal, Kansas, with additional training in Colorado Springs and Lincoln, Nebraska. From there he flew overseas in late July of 1944. Roy served briefly with the 312th Bombardment Squadron, and then was switched to the 329th at Hardwick, England. Roy was flying his ninth mission when flak hit his plane. He bailed out over Magdeburg, Germany. "Black smoke was just everywhere outside, and then you could tell it was close when you could see red, the fire on the inside," he recalls of flak. Roy says he's unsure "whether I panicked or whether I made a decision." The crew bailed out. All were captured. Placed in solitary confinement for "two or three days," he was then moved to an interrogation center at Wetzlar and then to Stalag Luft One at Barth, Germany. "You were hungry and dirty most of the time," he recalls of his time as a prisoner. He describes food given them as scraps. "If it hadn't been for the Red Cross, I don't think I would have made it," he says. "We would get one parcel a week per man. It was enough food to sustain you for a week," he recalls. Food from his captors consisted of potatoes, turnips, and "dehydrated vegetables that they used for horse feed." Once a month they were given four ounces of "some kind of meat and barley." The prisoners called the heavy bread they were issued, "thunder bread." Roy lost about forty pounds, from 158 to 117. Some prisoners kept hidden parts for a radio. They would put them together, pick up the BBC, and learn the latest news. They then dismantled the radio and spread the news on small handwritten notes. Roy states that guards were strict, but he never saw them beat a prisoner. The men traded cigarettes with guards, mainly for food. They knew the Russians were advancing west towards Berlin. Two days after the guard fled, around May 1, 1945, the Russians arrived with food. On May 13 B-17s took the men to Camp Lucky Strike in France. He recalls going to Paris, checking into a hotel, and flushing the toilet "just to hear it rattle." He sailed home, arriving near his birthday. He married Martha Woodson on July 15, 1945. They would have two children and three grandchildren. Roy returned to duty in Miami, Florida, and then in Smyrna, Tennessee. He was discharged at Barksdale Field in October of 1945. Roy first worked for a company selling typewriters and copy machines, then for Caddo Crate Company as a stenographer. For ten years he appraised real estate for the Federal Housing Administration, and then opened Fulco Realty Company, and ran it until 1989.