Newport-born Michael Gold (1920-) was a B-17 navigator with the 447th Bombardment Group whose flak-damaged plane was shot down by German fighters on just his fourth combat mission (January 30, 1944). Two crew members were killed by gunfire, and the others bailed out.
Gold faced the difficulties and deprivations of Nazi POW camps with the added burden of being not just a bomber crewman, but also a Jewish bomber crewman. Following the Battle of the Bulge, he and other Jewish flyers as well as a few Tuskegee Airmen, were put into a ‘ghetto’ barracks. It was here that Michael experienced his greatest anxiety and fear.
Fast forward more than 50 years; Michael Gold, a practicing obstetrician for 40 years, was diagnosed with PTSD relating to his WWII experiences and captivity. He becomes one of three subjects of a book, Soldier From The War Returning, by Thomas Childers, which belies the myth that the “Greatest Generation” was immune to post-traumatic stress issues.
Since his retirement in 1999 he has been attending P.T.S.D. meetings at the Veterans Administration with other WWII veterans. He was selected to train to become a facilitator to work with veterans from all wars. Now 91, he continues to meet with the Korean Veterans PTSD group weekly under the supervision of a V.A. therapist.
More in 2011:
More in President's Award Recipient:
- CAPT William Calhoun
Captain William McBrayer Calhoun, USN, Ret. (1948-2015) was a long-time RI resident who graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1967. Capt. Calhoun was a LTJG with the highly decorated Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) 3), nicknamed the “Seawolves”, an all-volunteer squadron formed in support of Naval Special Warfare operations and Mobile Riverine Forces.
- Thomas G. Corcoran
Pawtucket native Thomas G. Corcoran (1899-1981) played a pivotal role in the establishment of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers.
- Michael Gold