Ontario County World War II vet recalls POW days

During his five months as a prisoner of war in World War II, Ralph Felice often thought he would never make it out alive.

Seventy-two years later and still going strong at the age of 92, the Waterloo resident credits his survival to the camaraderie of fellow POWs who were held by the Germans after being captured in the Battle of the Bulge.

Many of them weren’t as lucky.

“Sure, I thought I was going to die, but we had a bunch of guys who stuck together. We had church services and tried to make the best of it,” Felice said during a recent interview at his home on Border City Road home. “I weighed 142 pounds when I went in and 84 when I got out. We lost a lot of the bigger guys to malnutrition.”

Felice spoke to the Times shortly before the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, considered by many to be the catalyst for the United States’ entry into the war. Sixteen at the time, Felice remembers the day well.

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