Wendell B. Terry
Wendell B. “Mike” Terry was a World War II bomber pilot whose story of making Christmas fudge in a German prisoner camp became a treasured family legacy. His eldest daughter, Marcia Plothow, published the story in 2017 with the help of acclaimed author Gerald N. Lund. The book is entitled Lieutenant Terry’s Christmas Fudge. The Deseret Book product description introduces Plothow’s reason for feeling urged to share her father’s story:
- On a mission to bomb a French bridge and slow down Hitler's retreating army, U.S. bomber pilot Wendell B. Terry miraculously survived a harrowing parachute jump after his plane was hit by enemy fire. Scorched by the burning plane, he landed amid German SS troops and soon found himself in a German prisoner-of-war camp. He shared a cement room with 23 other prisoners. He lived with a dirt floor, no heat to ward off the bitter cold, one small window, and not much to do. To make matters worse, Christmas was approaching, and Lieutenant Terry's heart ached for his new wife and their child who would soon be born.
- In the depths of the cold and dark, however, a light of hope was sparked by the arrival of a small parcel from the Red Cross. Chosen by lottery to receive that package, Lieutenant Terry opened it to find a small can of powdered milk, a packet of sugar, two squares of unsweetened chocolate—and a chance to bring a glimmer of Christmas joy to his fellow prisoners.
- Brought to life with original drawings by Lieutenant Terry himself, this heartwarming true story of sharing what little you have even in the direst of circumstances will inspire you to look for small ways to bring joy to others. Charmingly retold by beloved author Gerald N. Lund, Lieutenant Terry's Christmas Fudge is a classic tale you'll want to revisit every Christmas for years to come.
On Christmas Day in 1944, Terry mixed together powdered milk, sugar, and unsweetened chocolate to make a small pan of fudge. It had been six months since he had eaten anything sweet. But when he saw the faces of his fellow prisoners of war, and with the thoughts of Jesus Christ and the blessings he had known in his own life, he cut the fudge into twenty-four small pieces and shared it as a Christmas gift to each of them.
Terry had miraculously survived several close calls before he was imprisoned for the remainder of the war. He documented his life in prison camp in a wartime log he had received in a Red Cross war package. The journal also contains illustrations drawn by Terry. His stories became a legacy of faith to his wife, Beverly, and their four children and grandchildren.
After his release, he served in the air force for the next eighteen years and was stationed all over the world. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida. He died in 1987 at the age of 63.
Terry was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.