ARLINGTON, Va. - Decades after he served his country, 94-year-old World War II veteran 2nd Lt. John R. Pedevillano is being presented the Purple Heart at a special ceremony at the Air Force Memorial.
Pedevillano was a bombardier in the 306th Bomb Group and flew on the B-17 'Miss Carriage' on missions over Nazi Germany.
During one of the missions, Pedevillano's plane was shot down by Lufwaffe. He survived but was captured and taken as a POW by Nazi soldiers. Pedevillano said he was forced to march 300 miles to the Stalag Luft III prison where he was interred.
Pedevillano's family said he rarely spoke of his story or the injuries that he suffered. Now, just five days before his 95th birthday, Pedevillano received the Purple Heart.