The Return to Austria:  Prologue
    It was not until the winter of 1992 that Dennis M. Parker, my grandfather, reread the logbooks he had kept over 50 years ago during World War II.  Contained in these battered notebooks was a story about a pilot who had been shot down over Austria during the war which little did he know, was just beginning.
    My grandfather has always been a humble person; like many veterans of World War II, he does not want to be seen as a hero.  Due to this humility, his books were stored with many of his other mementos from the war and forgotten about.  When the logbooks were rediscovered in 1992, it was an exciting time for my family.  The journals, along with the other articles stored with them, were a part of my grandfather’s life which had never been shared with my family.
    Soon after he reread his journals, my grandfather decided that he would take his journals to a reunion of the pilots in his group, the Checkertail Clan.  Though held since 1946, he had never attended one of these reunions – this reunion in 1993 was his first.  My grandfather decided to attend because he thought a few of the other ex-pilots in the squadron would be interested in the journals. However, he underestimated the enthusiasm the journals would be met with.  Many of the pilots were enthralled with the journals, because they brought back long forgotten memories.  After his first reunion went well, my grandfather decided to go to another one in July of 1994 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It was at this reunion that people expressed a desire to have a copy of the journals.  This was the start of what became much more than my grandfather and the rest of my family could have ever expected.