World War II Central Illinois Stories

Friendship in Combat


(Aired on WILL-TV's "Prairie Fire" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, 2008)

A friendship during World War II helped George Kitterman of Bloomington survive fierce conditions during the Battle of the Bulge. In this Prairie Fire story, Kitterman describes being pinned down in a foxhole with his friend Joe Spencer, covered with snow with only a bazooka and one shell between them. They wondered what they would do if a German tank came over the ridge.

Producer Denise La Grassa begins with Kitterman learning about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when he and his pals were finishing a game of touch football and turned on a car radio to hear the Chicago Bears score. "We follow him through much of his war experience, but the centerpiece is this friendship that was so important to him," La Grassa said.