Stalag Luft III Newsletter – December 2016


                           Stalag Luft III Newsletter – December, 2016

 Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!  Just a reminder that Mike and I will be wiring the donations to Poland the first week of January for any of those who would still like to donate.

 Below is a picture from Marek taken Christmas Eve 1943 of Polish POWs in Stalag Luft 3.

It was the last Christmas for Wlodzimierz Kolanowski (standing third from the right, near the tree) who was later shot by the Gestapo after the Great Escape. In the very first row, on the left, is F/Lt Mieczyslaw Wyszkowski (Polish Fighting Team or so-called “Skalski’s Circus”). It was Wyszkowski who jumped the wire to the Americans in South Compound that Christmas night of 1943. He met the American Senior American Officer and passed Christmas wishes on behalf  of the RAF. According to the Wyszkowski’s memoirs, he remained in South for the next few days. Americans gave him a long coat. He even attended the appels. For a few mornings, the Germans were asking him to step up, “Pilot Officer Wyszkowski, please step up!” Wyszkowski later said that he did not want to step up because he was a flight lieutenant, not a pilot officer. He, of course, surrendered after a few days and was sent to the cooler. Wyszkowski finally ended up in Belaria.” [satellite camp outside SLIII proper]


The Christmas merriment did not stop with Wyszkowski. Below, from our book, From Commandant to Captive, is the letter Commandant von Lindeiner sent to senior officers of North, East, and South Compounds after Christmas, typed verbatim:

 Discipline of POWs Climbing Fences – Christmas 1943

Sagan 27th December 1943

Stalag Luft III Commandantur

To the Senior Camp Officers

Group Captain H.M. Massey     North Camp.

“           “      A. H. Willets      East Camp.

Colonel C.G. Goodrich              South Camp.

On my return here I have [illegible] with regret that in spite of my most earnest admonitions, the trust which was placed in the Ps.o.Ws, the way in which the requests were met half way and the special concessions given to the Ps.o.W. over the Christmas holidays have led to intolerable incidents.

  1. Nine British Ps.O.W. of North camp climbed the barbed wire fence separating North and South Camps in the night of the 25/12/43.
  2. In the night of the 25 – 27/12/43, 15 Ps.o.W. of the U.S.A.A.F. climbed without permission the barbed wire fence separating the South from the North Camp.
  3. In the night of the 25 – 26/12/43, 3 British Ps.o.W. of East Camp climbed the barbed wire fence separating East and Centre without permission.
  4. On the night of the 25th inst. [Latin for “instante mense,” meaning a date of the current month] instead of the allowed number of five Staff officers and 75 P.O W. Officers (i.e. 80 Ps.o.W. in all) 81 officers went from East to North.
  5. I am punishing the officers concerned in [illegible] 1 and 2 each with 14 days close Stuben-Arrest. [confined to barracks] The sentences to begin on 28/12/43.
  6. The special privileges allowed in connection with the close of the year are hereby withdrawn. Closing of barracks and appels will take place on the days of the week in the usual way.
  7. The possession and use of drinks containing alcohol is forbidden effective from today, instead of hitherto ordered with effect from 4/1/44. Existing alcohol will be confiscated and destroyed.

For information:

 Colonel D. T. Spivey, Centre Camp

(Signed) von Lindeiner

 German Christmas Wishes to All of Us – Bernd Schmidt, Weimar, Germany

Dear WWII-veterans , dear friends, dear all who are involved in these WWII cases, We wish you and your loved ones a merry, peaceful and blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year. Thank you all for your efforts that brought the peace to Europe and Germany in 1945. We will never forget it. Yours Bernd & Gerlinde Schmidt and friends Weimar / Germany

 The Winter SLIII Camp Below:


So far a mild Polish winter in the camp

From Marek: [according to Polish tradition]

“I’m not sure if you know that Santa comes to Polish kids twice a year. The first time is December 6th — St. Nicholas day. We find gifts in the morning underneath the pillow. Then we have gifts underneath the Christmas tree on December 24th.”

Thanksgiving and Christmas – South Compound – 1944 – POW daughter, Carol Robichaud Haley – U.S.

Carol recently came across a transcription of her father’s POW diary that he smuggled out of the camp. In the spirit of the season, it seems only appropriate to pull the curtain back on Christmas in South Compound.

November 16, 1944

“…Latest report is that we are to go on one quarter parcel beginning December 1st if no greater reserves arrive. (If I haven’t mentioned the fact before, we have been on one half parcel for nine weeks.) This means that a small can of spam will have to serve twelve men for one day. We may be hungry before we leave this place.

Last night I witnessed the dress rehearsal of “Room Service,” a three act comedy depicting the trials of a producer of plays and how this particular producer hurdles his problems as he meets them. A very fast moving farce performed in the setting of one hotel room. Katz as Dr. Glass makes his debut on the Stalag stage in a minor role. He is the perfect double for Donald Meeks.”

November 18, 1944

“The Axe has fallen!! What a few days ago was a probability is now a fact. The OKW has issued an order whereby no POW will have more than one day’s supply of food on hand. The German Kommandant of this camp has complied with the order. The order goes into effect Monday, Nov. 20. After that date all food over and above the stipulated amount will be subject to confiscation by the detaining power.

One can easily imagine the flap that we Kriegies are now going through. We have food that we have been niggardly saving these past months. We have economized, we have cut our rations, we have been surreptitiously storing our food from both our Red Cross parcel and our personal parcel for some day when we could really bash.

Since last Christmas we have saved and saved for some day. That day was going to be Thanksgiving and Xmas of this year. Now we must clear the larder of it all before the 20th. We must bash all tomorrow that we have saved for a week of feasting. Tomorrow we must eat and eat and eat again. We must eat until we can eat no more. And then after our day of feasting – what? Famine? No, I hardly think so, but I do expect to haul in my belt and get along on just a little less…”

 November 21, 1944

“Cakes, pies, prunes, and raisins, plenty of Necafe and Klim! What bashing we have gone through in the past few days! Stomachs full, aching with unaccustomed strain, belching the gaseous remnants of often too hastily devoured sweets. A holiday atmosphere prevailed during the feasting. Now that the banquet is over we have settled down to a meager, yet sufficient diet on half parcels of Red Cross food plus the German ration. Our present supply of R.C. rations will last for approximately one more month then we begin to exist on German rations alone.”

“…News of the West front has been much more encouraging these past days. Heavy battles are in progress with gains in some sectors. I’m beginning to wonder if Germany will quit before The Saar Basin, The Ruhr, and The Rhine industrial areas are taken by the Allies. If they don’t it will be a long war. What a hollow laugh we give to those prognostics who say the war will be over this year – Winchell, Churchill, King of Abyssinia and Kriegies only know what others!”

December 3, 1944

…Thanksgiving was celebrated by a gash bash with plenty of spuds and one third of a can of spam. Not much variety but heavy on the quantity side.

 December 15, 1944

…Tony and “Ace” Langborn made an attempted escape yesterday. Didn’t get far – in fact only to the fence when they were caught by two “ferrets.” The sentry in the goon box didn’t see them until his attention was called. Both are now in the cooler but fortunately it is “soft cooler.” It is “soft cooler” for Tony but Ace may be getting hard cooler because of his previous attempts.

…Now that Christmas is drawing near we are busy with decorations. From scraps of paper, water colors, and colored crayons, we are making bells, chains and decorative Xmas paintings and greetings on the walls. This will definitely be our last Christmas here! I would nearly bet my right arm on not being here but not quite. Who knows – this may be another Thirty Years War! If so – Farewell, cruel world – before many years.

December 19, 1944

Very cold today but have hardly been outdoors because of cooking duties. Debus and I fixed up a very good meal tonight consisting of corned beef and barley, carrots, potatoes and a cake. The cake was the usual crushed crackers, marge and prunes. The frosting was our old standby “Kriegie Whipped Cream.” Kriegie Whipped Cream is marge, sugar, and Klim. The carrots, the first we have had in about a year, made the meal.

…We hear that Tony and Ace are now on hard cooler. Their sentence is two weeks. They evidently had a little difficulty and had their previous soft cooler sentence revoked.

Still no mail – damn it!

 December 21, 1944

The week before Christmas and all Kriegies turn their thoughts homeward. Truly, our life here consists of memories of the past and thoughts of the future. Today the Camp Theater Guild presented us with a grand radio program. The talent in camp is exceptionally high. The announcers in today’s program brought back fond memories with replicas of home broadcasts that approached, equaled, and excelled the originals.

The program opened with announcers proclaiming the excellence of American programs, giving bits of various well known broadcasts. Then, amid a musical background, the Kriegie audience was transported back to the Christmas of pre-war days – the Christmas of pre-overseas days – the Christmas of loved ones and cherished memories. The curtains were drawn on the most beautiful of scenes – a dimly lighted room, a Christmas tree beautifully decorated, a fireplace – the portrait of a soldier on the mantle, a girl alone, the wife, the sweetheart of the man in service, and by her chair a radio bringing the program that touched the heart of every listener.

As the announcer speaks, the portrait on the mantle glows giving the effect of a spiritualistic medium – the announcer, speaking for all Kriegies through the portrait, to a loved one sitting in solitude at home. The tunes, Dreaming of a White Christmas, Venite Adoramus, and Silent Night, brought the months of suppressed emotions to the point of overflow. Then as previous Christmases pass in review, the memorable songs and music of yesteryear came, enriching our memories of the unforgettable past.

…Although the theater was cold we left with warm and slightly heavy hearts.

The cold weather is still with us. It seems much colder than the same period last year. In order to combat the cold at night I have taken my two Goon blankers and placed about six layers of toilet tissue in between them then stitched the two blankets together. I hope this suffices. During the day there’s not much to do but keep moving. My vulnerable spot is my feet. They are cold continually. If the socks and overshoes that I have asked Margie to send only come through I’ll be set.

One more hope – please, may I have just one letter before Christmas. It was been about two months since I have had a word – surely I have one due me. Merry Christmas, Darling, one of these Christmases coming will be ours.

 December 26, 1944

…From a Kriegie point of view, Christmas wasn’t too bad. The day was as cold as the weather has been but the sun was shining. It was my lot to be cooking this Christmas, with Debus as helper. It took the entire day preparing the lunches and the grand meal for the day. The lunches consisted of the cookies and cakes we had made while the main meal was a banquet made possible by the Red Cross Christmas parcel. Our entree for the day was turkey. The parcel contained canned turkey, plum pudding, cherries, Vienna sausages, deviled ham, honey, nuts, candy, pipe, wash cloth, playing cards, pictures of state scenes, games. All in all it was a grand parcel for Christmas time. We ate like kings for a day.

When we awoke on Christmas morning we found that Santa had already visited us. A table was covered with presents for all in the room. The gifts ranged from chewing gum to toilet paper. I received a box of B1 vitamin pills. Our Santa was Bob Pearson who remained awake to arrange the table during the dark and cold while all were asleep. Pleasant surprise.

(“That was the last entry until Jan. 2, 1945. Robi didn’t get his Christmas wish of a letter. He finally received a letter on Jan. 9th, written in August that pre-dated a letter he had received two months earlier. He received no more letters before being evacuated on the March. There were very few diary entries in 1945, as you can imagine.”)

Devils in Zagan

On the Independence Run, 11 November 2016, to commemorate Polish Independence Day, many of the runners are shown what looked to be devil dolls. I asked Marek about this:


“The dolls are actually devils. There is a local legend that tells that Zagan’s Palace was built with a help of the devil. The architect was looking for an idea how to decorate the facade of the palace. He was so desperate that he was even ready to sell his soul for any idea of the decoration. Then Satan appeared, and they made a deal. The facade of the palace was decorated with 197 stone faces of the devil.  So the devil became a kind of symbol of Zagan and the palace. There is a local artist (sculptor) in Zagan who make the figures of the devil. The sculptor’s name is Jerzy Kupczyk and he is very popular in Zagan.”

He and his studio of devils are shown below:




Jerzy’s Studio

“He also made a sculpture of Allied Airman. It was made for the 60th anniversary of the Great Escape in 2004 and it is 50 cm high.”


Sculpture of Allied Airmen

Building of Goon Boxes Underway at Stalag Luft III

Construction has begun on two goon boxes that will stand where the boxes originally stood. For those who visited the camp years ago, notice the new road that replace the old, rutted, dirt road that we and our POWs had once walked on. They walked down this road to enter the camp, and they went out of the gates and turned left on the road to start their long march.

Street lights too!






“The goon boxes are near the road at the museum, almost in their original locations. Today the road is much wider. The towers are on the site of Stalag VIIIC.”

“Towers are almost finished. We only need to install the lamps. I have also two search lights, but I will put them only for special events.”

[The search lights from the goon boxes continually swept the camp at night to illuminate anyone trying to escape.]


Arrows mark sites of the two new towers adjacent to Stalag VIIIC. To the right of VIIIC is West Compound in Stalag Luft III.

The American St. Nick – 1944 – Heartwarming trailer – true story – Luxembourg

 Mystery POW – American Likely in North and South Compounds –  POW son, Jim Jones, son of Doolittle Raider, Davy Jones – U.S.


This oil painting was found in Oregon. It was painted by American POW Don Stine. Is this face familiar to anyone? It could be POW Hal Houston.

 Art Fair at SLIII

Portrait drawing was very popular in the camp. Such portraits and other artistic works were displayed periodically at art fairs in the camp. Below are two photos of some of the works. The first picture shows a portrait of POW Doolittle Raider Davy Jones. Below that is that same photo in color. Jones was able to take his portrait on the march to bring home after the war.




 Mighty 8th Museum also Trying to Identify an Airman

 New Signs at SLIII

Your donation dollars at work – Marek has designed and installed two new signs in the camp directing visitors to two popular attractions, the memorial Tunnel Harry and the Memorial to the Fifty murdered after the Great Escape.

  tablice-2016-luft  tablice-2016-memorialHymn to the Fallen

As we have just observed the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, it is timely to remember all our fallen. The link below will show the beautiful cemeteries and the numbers of men buried there—so many it is hard to fathom. My father’s top turret gunner is buried in the Ardennes Cemetery.

Pearl HarborPOW daughter, Carolyn Miller – U.S.

“I was 6 years old, in a Florida restaurant with my newly returned Daddy, when loud cheers, clapping, and sobbing erupted leaving me totally shocked. People came over and saluted and embraced Dad, who was in uniform. My brother and sister and I were told to stand at attention with our hands over our hearts, and “The Star Spangled Banner” burst out of a small radio on the wall. “The war is over,” Dad said. But, I thought, “The war was over when you came home.”

 The following video marks the end of WWII in Honolulu on August 14th, 1945:

 Burial on the USS Arizona Joe Lawrence – U.S.

Historic Account of Raid on Kiel – POW son, Mike Woodworth – U.S.

“I don’t know which unit was the one that got my father’s plane, though I suspect it was located east of the harbor. From what I understand, they had released their bombs and were starting to make their turn back when they were hit. The plane apparently went down in the water of Kiel Fjord. The fjord was dredged after the war to clear it of all the wrecked planes and ships, so there is likely nothing left.”


[Marilyn: As a teenager, Ernie Hasenclever, was in the flak unit that shot down my father’s plane near Kiel, Germany. Those who attended the reunion in Colorado Springs might remember Ernie’s interesting talk when he was a participant with the “German Panel” and the presentation of the flak unit’s badges to Mike and to me.  Recently, Ernie, who has translated so many German documents for me over the years, sent Mike the newspaper article below that details the mission on which Mike’s father was shot down.]

Navigators – Moffett Field – POW daughter, Marilyn Elrod – U.S.

Marilyn, daughter of one of my father’s SLIII roommates, Morris “Available” Jones, found these two publications for Moffett Field, South Bay, San Francisco. The book on the left is from October, 1941. It contains a letter from U.S. Major General Barton K. Yount and shows the first graduating class, 41-B.  1st Lt. G. Y. Jumper was the Commandant of Aviation Cadets. The book on the right is from December 1, 1941, and has her father’s picture in a class for training on the B-13 trainer. There are several pages showing the instructors, head of the field, cadets, and pictures of some of the planes in flight. Below are pictures of the men who went to school there graduating to become navigators.









Planes in the dirigible building. “That is the building Dad said

they flew through and got in trouble for doing so.”


Dirigible building in the background


Open end of the dirigible


Outer shell of the dirigible being dismantled


Moffett Federal Airfield today near Santa Clara, California


 “The air dirigible building more recently with all of the outer skin

taken off. It contained asbestos so it has been quite a process. I

believe Google purchased or is renting the hangers for their airplanes.”


Recent view


Norden Bombsight at the museum at Moffett


Flight attire

Hell’s Angels and Auschwitz – Szymon Serwatka – Poland

Szymon:  “Some of the Hell’s Angels crew (my recent story on warhistoryonline) ended up in Stalag Luft III as well.”

POW Dog Tags at National ArchivesMarilyn and POW son, Mike Eberhardt

This is a follow-up on information of over a year ago, which might be new to the more recent readers of the newsletter. Briefly, when my co-author, Mike, went back to the village of Aschheim (outside Munich) to search for the site where his father’s B-17 crashed, many Germans there helped him, including two dedicated researchers of WW II crash sites. Besides locating the crash site, based on some sketchy information Mike had discovered, finding some aircraft fuselage pieces, and introducing Mike to a witness to the crash, the German researchers also discussed some records that Mike had obtained during his research, some written in German. One of the Germans asked Mike if he was aware that the National Archive in College Park, Maryland, (NARA) had 126 boxes of confiscated German records. The boxes held the German accounts, known as “KU” files, that were included with the U.S. Army Air Force Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs), and with them the individual files for some (but not all) of the captured crews. The files had been held in Oberursel, Germany, at the Interrogation Center. After Mike told me and POW daughter, Carol Godwin, of what he had been told, we visited the archive and found a number of boxes that held the KU files. KU stands for Kampf Unterlagen, or Battle Documents. The KU designation refers to U.S. bombers. Similar reports exist for British bombers, KE, and J, (“J “stands for Jagdflieger – fighter) and there are other reports for the Middle-East ME, Balkans/Central Europe (“KSU”/”KSE”) and of an unknown type “AV.” The various German Luftgau, which were administrative organizations of the Luftwaffe–immobile commands whose authority was limited to certain well-defined and permanently fixed geographical areas, prepared reports on all Allied aircraft that crashed in or near German-held territory. Many of the files held German accounts written by the Luftgau. Some files also held dog tags and others held personal items taken from the POWs at the time of interrogation. In my father’s crew’s case, there were items taken from a gunner’s pockets, Social Security card, etc. One item of particular interest was a leather bracelet embossed with a second gunner’s name.

Since our initial visit to NARA, we were able to facilitate the return of the gunner’s dog tag and bracelet. Mike’s father’s file held dog tags also for all ten crew members, including one for the navigator on that plane, Bill Bright, who is the last surviving member of that crew. Bill’s dog tag has now been returned to him following a formal request to NARA. Another POW, John Pedevillano, recently has received his dog tag following his request. So, NARA (on an “exception basis” to their stated policy to the contrary) has honored the request of three surviving POWs for the return of the dog tags.

Mike and I, Carol, and Carolyn Miller, daughter of POW Lt. Gen. A.P Clark, later arranged a meeting at the archive to further pursue this matter, as many we hear from would also like to have dog tags held there. While the three surviving POWs have been successful, for family members of deceased POWs the matter is clearly more difficult and return of the dog tags contrary to NARA policy. But we wanted to provide this information to the interested readers of this newsletter.

For those who have not requested a MACR, it is easy to do via email, and it is free. In a previous newsletter, I posted that link. There is no guarantee a particular dog tag is in the NARA files since the 126 boxes represent only a small fraction of all the files originally maintained by the Luftwaffe, but in order to ask NARA, a KU number, written on many of the MACRs would be needed, as NARA files the folders in boxes by that KU number. Around 7,000 reports in the original German are held by NARA. Having the German pages translated can provide more information than was used in the ordered printed MACR in English. Those records can be requested with no problem.  Website:  www.

The National Archives at College Park, Maryland

8601 Adelphi Rd.

College Park, MD 20740-6001

301 837 – 2000 – toll free # also on site

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Examples of the types of personal items seized by the Germans upon POW capture and interrogation:



POW Bill Bright with his dog tag from NARA


POW John Pedevillano with his NARA dog tag

(NOTE:  Recently, Mike was invited back to Munich by his German researcher friends to meet another witness to his father’s crash in March 1944, and the parachuting of seven of the crew members who all landed near Aschheim.  In this case, the witness was the then 14-year old-son of a farmer (now deceased)  who briefly took Bill Bright in before turning him over to the German authorities.  In his research, Mike learned that the farmer who took Bill in was very friendly and engaging and spoke perfect English —and asked Bill who had won the last World Series.  Mike asked his German researcher friends to see if they could identify this farmer and, remarkably, they did.  It turns out in the small community of Aschheim, the farmer was well known —even 70 years later–for his perfect English and for being an avid American baseball fan. The son has recently explained that his father emigrated to the U.S. in the 1920s and was involved in Prohibition smuggling in Chicago and New York (where he became a Yankee fan),  before returning to Germany prior to WW II to assume duties as a farmer following his own father’s death.  Mike will meet with the eyewitness son when he returns to Munich in April — certainly to get a photo for Bill Bright! We will follow his progress.)

Christmas “Great Escape” Quiz (Fact And Film) – Rob Davis – UK

  1.  PoWs were duty-bound to attempt to escape, true or false?
  2. What information was a captured serviceman obliged to reveal to his captors?
  3. When the separate area was opened to accommodate USAAF PoWs, how was communication established between the separate PoW compounds?
  4. How many men escaped through the “Wooden Horse” tunnel?
  5. What factor dictated the width and height of the three tunnels “Tom, Dick and Harry?”
  6. Who succeeded von Lindeiner as Kommandant, after the Escape?
  7. Why was the SBO, Group Captain Herbert Massey, repatriated?
  8. What was “Foodacco”?
  9. A fellow PoW whispers to you that he suspects another man of being a stool pigeon.  What does he mean?
  10. A calculation of the volume of sand excavated for the three tunnels Tom, Dick and Harry would fill : (a) a coastal container ship’s hold; (b) a forty-foot shipping container; or (c) one tenth of the Channel Tunnel.
  11. FILM : Which character’s nickname was “Piglet” ?
  12. FILM : Which Russian phrase does Danny teach Willie during the failed early escape attempt?
  13. FILM : As Hendley is ‘making friends’ with Werner the Ferret, what historical fact does Werner quote to try and show Hendley that he’s on the wrong side in the war?
  14. FILM : Whose job “just didn’t work out” ?
  15. FILM : What instruction does Hendley give Blythe as they are about to start the engine on the stolen aircraft?  (Extra point for identifying the aircraft type!)
  16. FILM : Where were the “Trapped into speaking English” and “Café Suzette” sequences filmed?
  17. FILM : What is the first spoken phrase in the film?
  18. FILM : Why did a PoW suffer on one occasion he cried out “Allez, oop!” ?
  19. FILM : What is Hilts’ exclamation when Bartlett tells him that 250 men are planned to escape?
  20. FILM : Why is Ashley-Pitt’s uniform different to the other PoWs?

1 False

2 Name, rank and number

3 Semaphore

4 Three

5 The size of the bed boards taken from the men’s’ bunks

6 Oberst (Colonel) Braune

7 He had sustained a serious ankle injury in a pre-war accident, and this had been aggravated when he was shot down

8 A points system between PoWs, for buying and selling food or any other desirable item

9 A traitor or informant planted by the Germans

10 B

11 Flying Officer Ives

12 “Yavas lublu” (“I love you”)

13 That in 1812 the British burned the US capital.

14 von Lindeiner the Kommandant (as quoted by Hilts)

15 “Don’t move or you get a mouthful of propeller”

16 Fussen

17 “Aussteigen!”  (“Get out!” [of the trucks])

18 He fell through the bed of his bunk, as too many bed boards had been appropriated for the tunnels

19 “You should be locked up.  You, too!”  [as if they weren’t already!]

20 He was a Fleet Air Arm pilot.

Another Man Found His Brother at Stalag VII-A – POW son, Steve Salz – U.S.

As a follow up to liberating brothers finding POW brothers at Stalag VIIA in Moosburg:

“My dad also told me that his brother, Ted, was in Patton’s Army when they liberated the camp.”

SLIII Vet POW son, Gary Hill – U.S.

The above link is the Albuquerque, NM, Journal newspaper from May 13, 2016.

“It is about John Henry and another vet who served on a B-17. John Henry is 94. He was one of Dad’s two buddies who went through their whole evading story following the plane’s downing  in late July, ’44. They went to SLIII in late October 1944 and were in West Compound.  (The three were:  Harlan Hill (Coopersville, Michigan) Ed Masseh (Phoenix, AZ) and John Henry (Morgantown, WV). John Henry was the flight engineer on my Dad’s crew.  He lives in Albuquerque, NM.

 B-17 – New Orleans SLIII Reunion – John Lanza

John took these unique pictures of the B-17.

dsc_0430a-big-plane-waits-for-little-plane-to-take-off  dsc_0423a-b-17

The Whole Nine Yards

During WWII, U.S. airplanes were armed with belts of bullets which they would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs. These belts were folded into the wing compartments that fed their machine guns. The belts measured 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds of bullets. Often times, the pilots would return from their missions having expended all of their bullets on various targets. They would say, “I gave them the whole nine yards,” meaning they used up all of their ammunition.

Ian Darling’s New Book

Canadian, Ian’s, follow up book to his book on Canadian aviators is proving to be very popular. This time he has turned his attention to American aviators, some of whom have come to our reunions.


Barnes & Noble:


New Book by Carolyn Edy



This book demonstrates the ways in which the press and the military promoted and prevented women’s access to war, outlining the rich history of more than 250 women who worked as war correspondents up through World War II. It also reveals that the concepts of “woman war correspondent” and “war correspondent” helped and hindered the work of all war correspondents even as they challenged and ultimately expanded the public’s understanding of war and of women.

Face book’s advertising page for the book offers a discount code:

Amazon is sold out temporarily, but you may order the book today at a 30% discount through the publisher. Like this page and then comment below or respond via messenger if you’d like to receive a discount code and more information. The author’s page can also be contacted on Face book, and she will send you the code.

Available also from Amazon:



Book Site:

WWII Stats

During the 3-1/2 years of World War II that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 and ended with the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, “We the People of the U.S.A. ” produced the following:

22 aircraft carriers

8 battleships

48 cruisers

349 destroyers

420 destroyer escorts

203 submarines

34 million tons of merchant ships

100,000 fighter aircraft

98,000 bombers

24,000 transport aircraft

58,000 training aircraft

93,000 tanks

257,000 artillery pieces

105,000 mortars

3,000,000 machine guns and

2,500,000 military trucks

We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb and, ultimately, conquered Japan and Germany.

Did You Know?POW son, Mike Eberhardt – U.S.

During WWII, 14,900 U. S. airmen lost their lives in over 6,000 crashes during training sessions just in the U.S. This does not include an estimated 7,000 -10,000 more killed while training from overseas  air bases during the war or while forming up for actual missions.


Working Washington Caps Link – The patriotic link from the last newsletter did not work for some. Try this one:

1940 – Kate Smith – God Bless America!

WWII Foundation Documentary Films AwardsTom Colones – U.S.

Kamikaze Attack: Harrowing Footage from 1945

This clip gives you a picture for what it was like in the gun turret.

Click on the video—no need to sign in.

Ten Body Bearers – U.S. Marines – POW nephew, Hugh Carter – U.S.

“The Last to Let You Down”

Repairing Lightning Rods on Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro

Click here and hang on tight:  What a View!

Jumping with No Parachute – POW Ken Collins – U.S.

 Memorial Statue at Bury St. Edmunds – Evan Thomas – UK

Found Dog Tag Returned – Evan Thomas – UK

 Scott Brewer’s Dog Tag  – Evan Thomas – UK

 Union Station – DC – USAF Band WWII Christmas Flashback – Joe Lawrence, U.S.

USAF Band WWII Holiday Flashback

 Honor Flight – The Documentary

 Puppies! – In the Spirit of the Season:

Enjoy this short video and help animal shelters at the same time. Purina is donating 1 pound of dog food to a shelter for every viewing of this video.  Enjoy it and forward it on to all your friends! SJoE_lNQdHU

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers


























One thought on “Stalag Luft III Newsletter – December 2016

  1. Your readers might want to check out my book — “Flying Forts and Tall Dutch Tulips: A Year at War” — on Amazon. It is a nonfiction account of my father’s war experiences which included 6 months in Stalag Luft III and the notorious Blizzard March. The book was written for middle school / high school students, but adults are also claiming it for themselves. It is also for sale in the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, OH, and in the Netherlands at museum stores of both Kamp Westerbork and Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum.

    Your newsletter is keeping stories of WWII vets alive!


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