The Dart: Couple collects WWII memorabilia

Published 7:41 pm Monday, April 2, 2007

Fred and Phillis Falkenheiner consider themselves “big history buffs.”

“I love it,” Phillis said. “Especially World War II.”

Visible signs of the couple’s love for the second great war can be seen throughout their house on Concordia Avenue, including two original copies of The Natchez Democrat’s editions of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender.

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Beside Fred’s bed is a stack of issues of World War II Magazine, secretly sent to him by a friend who knows of his love for the event.

But Fred’s connection with the war goes a little deeper than just reading about it in magazines and newspapers.

“My cousin, Judge Billy Clyde W.C. Falkenheiner, was a POW,” Fred said.

“He was listed originally as killed in action and later he was listed as missing in action. Then finally he was listed as a prisoner of war in Germany.”

The Germans captured W.C. during the Battle of the Bulge, Fred said.

Fred’s German heritage also makes him more interested in WWII.

“I have always wanted to go to the place of my people,” he said.

Fred shared a story of how an uncle of his visited some distant relatives in Alsfeld, Germany.

“He (Fred’s uncle) told me he thought it was funny when the German’s pointed toward the castles and said ‘don’t worry we didn’t live there. We were the serfs,’” he said with a chuckle.

To further feed their passion of WWII, Phyllis and Fred watch the History Channel and movies about the war.

“But mostly I think we’re fascinated with what these brave men and women gave up,” Phyllis said.

“If America hadn’t jumped in, we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have now. I would imagine German and Japanese are hard languages to learn”