Gottfried P. Dulias was a young Luftwaffe pilot who had seen plenty of action in the skies above the Eastern Front. Flying the Messerschmitt Me-109G-14/AS with Jagdgeschwader 53—known as the Pik A’s, or Ace of Spades squadron, or simply as JG 53—he shot down five enemy aircraft and became an ace.
Subsequently, he was shot down by ground fire and captured, and he spent three years in a Soviet prison camp. Dulias emigrated to the United States in 1953 and worked in residential construction and as a locksmith until his retirement in 2009. He and his wife, Hedwig, were married for 46 years until her death in 1997.
The father of three daughters, who also has two grandchildren and one great grandchild, Mr. Dulias lives today in Patchogue, New York. He and coauthor Dianna M. Popp met on the internet and later worked together to produce the book Another Bowl of Kapusta, from which this story is excerpted. Kapusta is Russian for cabbage soup, which served as a staple food for prisoners of war held by the Soviet Union.