Eufaula vet to be king in foreign country

Elzo Bevan
Elzo Bevan

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Elzo Bevan is two days away from making a trip of a lifetime.

"I think it will be emotional. I try to be in control but it's going to be tough," said Bevan.

Destination? The Czech Republic in central Europe. The town of Korvaska will honor World War Two veterans like Bevan for liberating the country from the Nazis. Elzo Bevan will be made 'King for a Day,' primarily because he is the last surviving member of his bomb squadron.

Bevan, however, has an unusual connection to the Czech Republic. September 11, 1944. Bevan was a radio man on board a B-17 Bomber. Enemy fire struck two engines, shrapnel hit one ankle and:

"I got hit here (throat) and took one in the arm and here in the ankle," said Bevan.

Stunned and disoriented, a fellow airman helped Bevan parachute to safety but not for long. Bevan broke his other ankle when he landed and became a POW for nearly 8 months; terrible food, a painful march and his first shower after 87 days in captivity.

"Those were probably the worst days of my life in the war," said Bevan.

Part of the plane wreckage Bevan flew on is on display in a museum in Korvaska and that's not all. The museum has Bevan's dog tag and the actual papers the Germans used to record their interrogation of Mr. Bevan.

"It's really strange. The Allies came across an archive of papers and my papers and tag were in there. I couldn't believe it," Bevan said.

A trip back in time for Elzo Bevan, another memory to put in his war book.

Bevan is 86 years old. He will make this trip with two of his 5 children and they plan to stay one week.

As 'King of the Day,' Elzo Bevan says he's been asked to speak at the ceremony and will probably talk from the heart about his experiences in the war.

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