Memorial Day memories: A WW II POW remembers

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. _ It was Easter 1944, and Frank Brincat was standing on the wall of a German boxcar, seconds away from death.

A German soldier held a machine gun at his back, ready to pull the trigger. Execution was imminent.

The day before, he and three other American prisoners of war had escaped the same German boxcar by cutting through wooden planks with a knife. They didn't make it far.

Yet just as Brincat thought his life was coming to an end, he was saved.

"An officer came through and knocked the gun out of the soldier's hands and said 'Don't kill them,' " Brincat, 85, said. "And boy we were thankful."

In more than two years as a prisoner of war during World War II, Brincat faced physical torment, brutal interrogation and imminent death.

He's one of fewer than 23,000 living ex-prisoners of war, according to the American Ex-Prisoner of War Organization, and he's one of only a handful along the Grand Strand.

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