Prisoners of War and Friends and Families of Stalag Luft III:
We would like to inform you about several SLIII-related updates:
- The project to raise funds for the Stalag Luft III Museum in Zagan received a phenomenal response from all of you. As of today, we have accumulated $10,717.00 to wire to Marek in Poland. He plans many overdue updates to the museum, including display cases and remodeling. This communist era administrative building is sorely in need of remodeling! His eventual plans are to build a replica goonbox where the one sat that the 76 POWs escaping through Tunnel Harry had to pass in 1944. There will also be a memorial garden around the tunnel’s exit. Over the years, the RAF has been instrumental in funding a variety of projects at the camp, including the replica hut, #104. With your generous donations, we Americans will provide ample funds to not only remember our fathers and loved ones who were held there, but at the same time provide the funding for the museum to expand.
We had originally planned to send the funds this week. However, Marek has informed us that due to Polish law, any funds he receives must be used up by the first of the year. So we have agreed to wait until January 1, 2013, and send the money then. That will allow him a full year to maximize the use of the money we send. In regard to the plaque, each POW sponsored will have his own individual nameplate bearing name and rank at time of capture. Marek will be designing the plaque and the display area at the museum. It is hoped that the RAF Ex-POW representative visiting there soon will take this idea home with him so that even more allied POWs can be recognized, raising even more money for the museum. For anyone who would still like to contribute and have a nameplate made for the plaque, please send a check for $100.00 and information, by January 1st, using the form at the bottom of this email.
- Behind the Wire – There is good news for those of you seeking information from the ledgers that Arnold Wright transcribed. The primary ledger, recorded by POW Ewell McCright, is that of South Compound. There are three other ledgers, not quite as extensive, of West, Center, and North Compounds. The North book lists only Americans held in North. Arnold has given permission to the Air Force Academy to post the contents of all the ledgers on the Academy’s website. Anyone can browse for names there or download the entire ledger. We don’t have the date yet when the material will be available. Link to Academy follows:
- Susan Kohnowich, daughter of renowned POW artist, Carl Holmstrom, will be traveling to SLIII on March 24,2013, for the anniversary of the Great Escape to present her father’s sketches to Marek. There will be a ceremony, and anyone wanting to attend is invited. Due to the anniversary, there will be a large RAF presence as well. In preparation for her departure, Susan is asking anyone reading this newsletter to contact her if information is known on any of the POWs listed below. I have copied what she sent, just as she sent the names. Spellings could vary slightly. These are all men her father sketched, and she would like to provide some information for each man to the museum. Marek will provide a wall at the museum for these fine portraits to be displayed. Some of the men in some of the sketches have not yet been identified. Susan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-788-3194 if anyone has information.
She is looking for information on:
Alfred G. Wade
Capt. Harry Korger
Fred D. Gillogly, Illinois
Frances Thomas Finnegan
J.W. Daniel, Humble Texas
Daniel J. Barbeirs, North Bergen, New Jersey
- Any questions regarding a SLIII reunion should be directed to Val Burgess. Please do not send them to me or Mike Eberhardt.
- The son of one of our POWs is exploring the possibility of having SLIII patches made for sale. When more information is received, we will pass that along.
- For those still wishing to donate to the SLIII museum, please use form below and mark “SLIII Museum” on your check.
Marilyn Walton Mike Eberhardt
Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers Son of POW Charles M. Eberhardt