Stalag Luft III Newsletter – February 2018


 Stalag Luft III Newsletter – February 2018


Greetings, Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

Welcome Home Lt. Sconiers!

          Lt. Sconiers Reinterred —Buried 74 Years to the Day—Defuniak, Florida

 It is so gratifying to report the final burial of Lt. Ewart Sconiers in Florida—the day we often thought would never come. Below are photos of the event and links to many videos on that will show the highlights of an incredible experience for so many who attended.

January 27, 1944 – Luben, Germany [later Lubin, Poland]

Thanks to Rob and Nanette Sconiers Pupalaikis and daughter, Eden, who colorized this historic picture for the reburial. The original flag was supplied by the Germans, and the stripes were painted on fabric. The flag was always re-used. The day of the funeral, as the casket was lowered into the ground, a German guard jumped forward to grab the flag, and Lt. Col. Clark, on the left, foreground, watched the guard’s muddy boot step on the flag, an image that always stayed with him, the symbolic significance of which was not lost on him.

January 27, 2018, Defuniak, Florida

Major Gen. William K.  Gayler, Ft. Rucker, Alabama, presents the folded flag  that covered Lt. Sconiers’ casket to niece, Pamela Sconiers Whitelock, as her granddaughters, Kennison and Kennedy, look on.

The Beginning:

“Do you know if anyone has found poor old Sconiers?”  For me, this journey started with that simple question posed to me by Lt. Gen. Clark at the U.S A.F. Academy in 2005.  Having buried him in 1944, Gen. Clark, then a Lt. Col., knew that Sconiers was the only American POW from Stalag Luft III who was never returned home after the war—a decorated war hero In North Compound with the British who worked under Lt. Col. Clark on security for Tunnel Harry of Great Escape fame. That question haunted the general for decades.

I only knew the name Sconiers from looking through my POW father’s copy of Clipped Wings as a child, which was a published history of South Compound, where he and Clark were eventually held. I distinctly remember four crosses on the dedication page with names in black on each one.




Lt. Sconiers was one of four men in South Compound who died while held captive. In 1943, Lt. Schaffer [correct spelling] died of complications of an appendectomy. 1944 would bring three more deaths. Lt. Mannka died as a result of the mental condition termed “barbed wire fever” by his fellow POWs. His German death certificate showed the cause of death as dementia/pneumonia. Corporal Miles [correct spelling] was shot by a German guard from a watchtower during an air raid. And then there was Lt. Sconiers—a mystery as to cause of death with so few facts it was not even speculated upon in the book. Decades later, his discovered German death certificate would indicate pneumonia/schizophrenia, and one document showed heart failure. Three of the deceased POWs came home when he did not. During the long quest to find him and bring him home, it was learned that he had fallen on the ice in the camp, and a splinter of wood penetrated his ear drum, later causing an infection that went to his brain causing him to exhibit episodes of severe mental illness. There were no drugs available to treat his infection, and soon the Germans removed him from the camp sending him to a mental hospital in what was then Luben, Germany, where he died the next day.

Lt. Gen. Clark had told me that on the day of the funeral they left Sconiers buried next to French POWs and a few Russians in the POW section of the cemetery. White flimsy crosses marked those graves he said. He told me that after they left the cemetery, the Germans would mark Sconiers’ grave with the same flimsy white cross that marked the other POW graves.

Four of Lt. Sconiers’ POW friends, including his pilot, stood near his wooden casket that cold day.  Seven decades later, descendants of those four took their places in the same positions their relatives had occupied.

January 27, 2018

Two POW daughters, one son, and one grandson stand next to Sconiers’ remains—the very remains the original burial party stood by 74 years before. Left, foreground, Major /Ret. Ed Wheeler, son of Col. Clermont Wheeler,  behind him, Carolyn Clark Miller, daughter of Lt. Col.  A. P. Clark, right foreground Scott Spivey, grandson of  Col. Delmar Spivey , and behind him, Kathryn Bisbee, daughter of Lt. Milton Stenstrom, Sconiers’ pilot.

Return to Florida: No one could have anticipated the massive celebration that the good people of Defuniak  provided . This small town turned out to welcome Lt. Sconiers home in every way they could.  There are many videos of the celebration on if you type in “Sconiers funeral.” Here are just a few below. Other videos are listed at wjhg t.v. in Florida, type in Sconiers. Pam is working with documentary makers who will tell the Sconiers ‘story, as well as the saga of  his recovery, and the documentary will be finished by next year. Pam is also writing a book on her uncle’s story. To get an idea of the tribute we observed, here are some mostly short videos that say it all: – WJHG – Reporter Jennifer Holton – – Delta arrival, WJHG – Funeral – Hero’s Homecoming and parade

credit Dave Peller – Overview of all – Defuniak Parade – Finding “A Hero in a Haystack Members of Ewart’s Army Reuniting at the Pensacola Airport – Lt. Sconiers’ arrival  –  Patriot Riders  – “God Bless the USA”

Thanks to Pam’s incredible planning, those of us who attended enjoyed the wonderful parade that wound through the streets, a tree planting, music, speeches,  a BBQ lunch sponsored by Sen. George Gainer, and a hotel reception. Senator George Gainer and Florida Rep. Brad Drake both attended to pay respects. They have introduced a bill to have part of Hwy 90 in Walton County, Florida, renamed for Lt. Sconiers.  A proclamation was presented to Pam honoring her uncle proclaiming Sconiers Appreciation Week, and she was given the key to the city. The Patriot Guard Riders escorted the hearse from Pensacola, where we met the plane, up to the Defuniak funeral home, near Panama City, which was a drive of an hour and a half. Traffic was stopped along the route as this extremely long procession with countless motorcycles and State Highway Patrol accompanied us and the hearse. It was a day none of us will ever forget.

Below are a series of photos taken by many attendees during our three days in Florida. Our day began in Pensacola at the airport where many of the members of “Ewart’s Army” reunited, coming from many locations, including Hawaii, Belgium and Poland.  Pam’s entire family flew in to attend.

Marilyn and Carolyn Clark Miller in Pensacola

awaiting arrival of the plane

Waiting beside the plane  – Pam and her sister, Paige

Honor Guard from Ft. Rucker, Alabama, marches out to meet

Lt. Sconiers’ casket.

Army escort stands at attention with Delta personnel

Finally back in his home state, Florida


Years of pent up emotions could finally be released.

The Patriot Guard Riders assemble to form the escort to Panama City. Most were the Patriot Guard Riders who all started the escort at the Delta terminal. They were easy to see due to yellow arm bands, windshield stickers, and PG patches.  The other motorcyclists were member of the Walton Co. Sheriff Riders and the VFW Commander Wade Wilmoth Motorcycle Escort. Those two escorts picked up when the others left I-10 and stopped before heading east on Hwy-90 for the last few miles.

The line begins at the funeral home.

Funeral Home – Sconiers was issued a new uniform, name tag, and medals.

His bones were wrapped in a plastic covering and covered with a soft Army

blanket beneath the uniform.

“Ewart’s Army”  in front of the casket  with Pam-  L-R –  Szymon Serwatka, researcher from Poland, retired Chief Petty Officer, John Gray, of DPMO who served as an escort on the flight, Pam, Marilyn,  our dedicated researcher, Ed Renière, from Belgium, and Dr. Jarrod Burks, archeologist from Ohio. Missing is Stephen Marks from Poland. Before Sconiers, none of us knew each other except Ed and I.

John Gray and Szymon Serwatka pause and reflect by the casket.

Chief John Gray,  retired from the US Navy, worked for the DPMO, (Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office) which at that time accounted for missing POWs and MIAs. Chief Gray told   Lt. Genera Clark that the case of Lt. Sconiers had been re-opened when DPMO decided to go back to Poland after reviewing all of the possible cases, selecting his, amongst others, because they believed it was potentially solvable.

Szymon Serwatka, Researcher for DPMO, had been working independently on Sconiers’ case several years prior to 2006. His passion continued, and he made several trips to Lubin. Szymon watched the eventual excavations with much interest and provided excellent detailed charts and maps to help locate the most likely areas for POW burials.

Ed Renière Belgium – never gave up in eleven years. For over a decade, I have been in touch with Ed, one of the best WWII researchers I have ever had the pleasure to meet and work with. He agreed to help in the quest to find Lt. Sconiers. Ed had a way of finding whatever no one else could find. He even found a video link of Sconiers receiving a Distinguished Service Cross. Just down the line from Sconiers stood Paul Tibbets, who would later drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Beyond that, Ed never ceased finding archival material so elusive to the rest of us that contributed greatly to this success.

Marilyn and Pam finally close to Ewart

The day before the funeral, the town of Defuniak showed its

appreciation for their long lost hero.

Parade route

The Florida State Highway Patrol turned out to pay respects.


Senator Gainer with officers from Ft. Rucker, Alabama


Pam addresses the people of Defuniak

Residents line the parade route for Lt. Sconiers

Saying both hello and good-bye, Marilyn, unknown, Carolyn Clark Miller

Scott Spivey, whose grandfather buried Sconiers

Along the parade route

School children sang and lined the streets.

Yellow ribbons and red/white/blue ribbons adorned many trees.

Tree Planting

We wait to take turns to help plant the tree.

Marker for the tree

The Funeral

Johnie Webb from the former JPAC flew in from Hawaii. In charge of Outreach and Communications for DPAA, Johnie knew what it meant to be a “Promise Keeper,” a man wholly dedicated to doing what was right and serving those who have served America. According to Pam, without Johnie Webb’s indefatigable commitment, exemplary leadership, tireless oversight, and purest of hearts, Ewart Sconiers would never have made it home.

The church

“Ewart’s Army”—The Promise Keepers – and the four descendants

of the original burial party – seated at the back of the altar

Standing room only plus a filled annex to hold all who wanted to

witness the  historic funeral

Lt. Sconiers is driven to his final resting place.

Pam holds the flag as Maj. Gen. Gayler speaks to her granddaughters.

Colorized Photo on Display

Missing Man Formation – Eglin AFB – F 15s – roared over the gravesite

at the funeral. The planes were secured through the efforts of Rob Pupalaikis.

“Promise Keepers” honored at reception after the funeral

A gift from Carolyn Clark Miller to Marilyn and Pam recognizing the

long quest and all the bumps along the way. “Nevertheless she persisted!”

Marilyn, Chief John Gray, Szymon Serwatka, and Ed Renière share a

group hug celebrating “mission accomplished.”

Marilyn and Col. Chris Forbes who made sure Lt. Sconiers got home

after the cross was found.

POW son, Jim Keeffe, frequent contributor to this newsletter,

flew in from Washington State to ride with the Patriot Guard

Riders. See this website for a history of the Washington State Riders:

Sconiers’ former and now empty grave in Gdansk, Poland

Preparing for the new and final burial in Defuniak, Florida, next to

Lt. Sconiers’ mother, Maude

Three Crosses

So despite the fact that Lt. Sconiers eventually did receive only that flimsy cross in Luben, Germany, it served its purpose, as the French saw it and removed him from his Communist Lubin, Poland, grave and took him with their own when they were allowed in just one time to remove their war dead—at a time when the Communists would not allow the Americans in. It was then that he received the solid white cross in Gdansk, Poland at the French Military Cemetery. The French POW crosses were marked with the phrase, “Mort Pour Le France,” (Died for France), but that phrase was noticeably missing from Sconiers’ new cross.

The first cross was the white flimsy one put on Sconier’s grave in Luben, Germany.

The second cross:   Gdansk, Poland

…and finally, the third and final cross is now in  Defuniak, Florida

I think Lt. Gen. Clark could truly appreciate  the fact that  no longer on foreign soil, Lt. Sconiers now lies beside his mother, beneath a beautiful white marker issued by his own government, adorned with a beautiful solid arc  from his family, and graced by the words so long in coming, “YOU WERE NOT FORGOTTEN.”  To answer your question, Gen. Clark, “Yes, Lt. Sconiers was finally found.”

To read about the entire Sconiers’ story, please visit Pam’s wonderful website:  and watch for her book.

News from Marek in Poland:

Zagan Museum Now Rated #2 (out of 95 tourist attractions of Lubuskie Province, Poland!

This was published by the local newspaper recently and is great publicity for the museum.

For those of you have visited, consider leaving a review on

Dog Tag

Recently donated by a collector from Warsaw

According to the West Compound roster, POW #4328 was 2nd Lt. James A. Bouvier, hut #157, room 15. Bottom half of perforated dog tag is missing.

73rd Anniversary of the Battle of Sagan and the Evacuation of the Stalag VIIIC and Stalag Luft 3 POW camps (The Long March)

Marek: “After many days of fighting on February 16th, 1945, the Soviet Army took the town of Sagan. For this small town, the war was over. One week before, on February 8th 1945, Stalag VIIIC, an Army POW camp, was evacuated. Thousands of POWs were forced to walk hundreds of miles westward to other camps somewhere in Germany. It was called the Death March.

On January 27th, 1945, Stalag Luft 3 was evacuated. Over 10,000 airmen including 7000 American officers were forced to leave the camp and walk westward in freezing cold. Many of the POWs from Stalag VIIIC and the enlisted men’s camps such as Stalag Luft IV did not survive. We also commemorated 78th anniversary of the first mass deportation of Poles. On the night of 9-10 February 1940, the first 140 thousand Poles that lived in Eastern border lands occupied by the Soviet Union were transported deep into the Soviet Union. Thousands of them died of starvation and cold.

As always, we had an honored guest, WW2 veteran 2nd Lt. Piotr Gubernator. He gave an amazing speech. He was one of the first citizens of Zagan. He shared with us some memories about the abandoned and empty town of Zagan he saw in 1946.

US Army soldiers who are currently serving in Zagan attended the ceremony to pay tribute to all American officers POWs of Stalag Luft 3.”

                                                       Polish Army

U.S. Army


2nd Lt. Gubernator

Polish Children and their Families

 Winter Holiday in Poland

Two weeks of winter holidays for students in Poland provided time to visit with the Polish Black Division and the museum.  As always, Marek organized a trip for them. The all-day bus tour included The Hall of Tradition of the “Black Division,” POW Camps Museum, and Tank Training Center (10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade) in Swietoszow (15 km South-East of Zagan). In Swietoszow, they visited tank simulators and also a shooting range simulator, having lots of fun.

“We end every tour with a lunch in a mess room in Army Base in Swietoszow. Kids love to have lunch with soldiers. Also with the cooperation with 11th Armoured Cavalry Division, we came up with an idea of free guided tours of the POW Camps Museum and The Hall of Tradition of Black Division. ‘Open Sunday’ – free entrance and free guided tours on every third Sunday of the month.”

   10th Armoured Brigade Visit

Black Division Tradition Hall

Leopard Tank Simulator

Shooting Range

At the museum:

“Lots of fun! Kids love the new room especially gramophone

which is still playable. I usually don’t do this during the guided

tours, but I could not resist this time.”

The POWs had gramophones, although a shortage meant that each block of prisoners only got one record session a month, and a dance club flourished.

Gramophone and record

Zagan Hotel Demolished

The hotel that many early visitors to the museum stayed in is now being demolished. My husband and I stayed there in 2004. It was built in the early 1970s. Other nice hotels have taken its place.


The hotel by this date is completely gone.

Folded Wings

Gus Seefluth

Many will remember Gus from the 2012 SLIII Reunion in Dayton, Ohio. Condolences from the family from the Stalag Luft III Community.

Working on Improvements on the Stalag Luft III Section of the Air Force Academy Website – Dr. Mary Ruwell – Archivist – U.S.A.F Academy

“In a few months a new version will succeed this one. But for now, this is the link to take you to Stalag Luft III material at the A.F. Academy.”

Photo of Signature Enhanced – Trevor Hewitt – UK

Trevor has improved the quality of the pictures of the American signature he found while digging at the old base at Rackheath base in England. It had been buried for over 75 years. The story was in the last newsletter. I was able to locate  Theodor Rykiel’s  great nephew who is stunned by the find.

New Book – Stan Walsh – Bombardier – 397BG, 598 BS – US

“This is a State of the Book report.” The book title is: The B-26 Goes to War with the subtitle, Army’s Torpedo Challenge – Sink Nippon Navy. So, briefly, the book is about the airman who received and took the first B-26 “straight” short-wing model Marauder to the Southwest Pacific (Australia) into battle immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It follows Lt. Allen’s torpedo testing exploits, Lt. Muir’s participation in the Battle of Midway, and Lt. Dewan’s battle diary entries.  It is a mini history of the 22 BG to May 1943 when only 16 battle-worn airplanes remained flyable. I am Editor-in-Chief and co-author.  I am currently organizing the index. The book has 180 pages, 28 interior photographs, MHS logo, and a map page. The cover is in color featuring Jack Fellows’ art and Steve Swartz’s photographs. Publication is expected to be in Feb. 2018 by Author House. “

Book  on German and African Americans – Dr. Larry Greene –  U.S.

“ I met Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson (ret.), in 2006 when I was a Fulbright teaching and research professor teaching at the University of Muenster. I co-organized a Conference on African Americans and Germany and invited Alexander Jefferson to speak at the conference on his WW II experiences in the military and as a POW. We made available his book Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free. I co-edited a book on the conference, Germans and African Americans: Two Centuries of Exchange.

It was co-edited with Anke Ortlepp. Anke was formerly with the German Historical Institute and moved on to a professorship with the University of Munich. See link to the University Press of Mississippi which published the book.

(Thanks to Larry, too, for sharing the SLIII Newsletter  monthly with his history classes!)

Larry A. Greene, Ph.D.

Professor of History

History Department

Seton Hall University

South Orange, NJ 07079

 467th BG Reunion – Trevor Hewitt – UK

 Polish Blechhammer Tour Schedule for 2018 – Szymon Serwatka – Poland

Many newsletter readers took the tour last year and endorsed it highly. Here is the schedule for the tour for next year for those of you who missed the last one.

Trip Schedule

Day 0 – arrivals to Kraków

Day 1 – Kraków Castle and Old Town

Day 2 – Wadowice, Jeleśnia – B-24 memorials

Day 3 – Auschwitz death camp

Day 4 – Blechhammer USAAF WWII target

Day 5 – Żagań Stalag Luft III POW camp

Day 6 – Wrocław Old Town, Walim tunnels

Day 7 – Jewish Kraków, Wieliczka Salt Mine

Day 7 +1 – departures from Kraków

Day 1

We will start in Kraków, and we will see the Royal Castle and the Cathedral on the Wawel Hill.

We will take a tour of Krakow Old Town in an electric cart.

We will visit the market square with a historical trade hall, St. Mary’s Church, and an underground  exhibition about medieval Kraków.

Day 2

This day is related to the USAAF bombing of IG Farben in Auschwitz on September 13th, 1944.

We will visit memorials to two B-24 crews who were shot down on this date. One was from the 485th (we will see the crash site) and the other from the 460th Bomb Group.

We will also see a Polish-American museum in Wadowice.

Day 3

We will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where 1 million Jews were murdered, together with 70,000 non-Jewish Poles, and 30,000 people from other nationalities.

We will also see where the IG Farben Auschwitz chemical factory was, which was bombed 3 times by the USAAF in 1944.

Day 4

On this day we will leave Krakow and go to Kędzierzyn-Koźle, known in World War Two as Blechhammer.

The town’s synthetic fuel factories were at the extreme range of the USAAF bombers, and were heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns.

We will see the factories, a former slave labor camp, and the museum dedicated to the 15th Air Force.

Day 5

After staying overnight in Wrocław, we will continue west to Żagań.

We will visit a museum dedicated to POW camps. It is located where the Stalag Luft III was. This camp was known from The Great Escape.

We will see a reconstructed POW hut, foundations of the camp’s buildings, and where the main Great Escape tunnel (Harry) was.

Day 6

We will visit Wrocław’s magnificent Main Square, with a place that has been serving beer since 1275.

We will see “Panorama Racławicka” (1894) which is a giant 360 degree painting best viewed from a centrally located viewing platform.

On the way to Kraków, we will visit mountain tunnel systems at Walim built by the Nazis in 1943 and 1944.

Day 7

We will go to an historical Salt Mine in Wieliczka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Then we will visit a museum in Schindler’s factory, made famous by Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List.” We will end the day in Kazimierz, Kraków’s Jewish district, where we will see a medieval Gothic style synagogue.

April 8-14, 2018 Tour

arrivals on April 7th, departures on April 15th

September 9-15, 2018 Tour

arrivals on September 8th, departures on September 16th

Number of travelers: min 5, max 7

Contact Szymon at for additional details.

Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association Tour and Memorial Ceremonies in GermanyPOW son, Robert D. McCaleb – US

Foes by Fate – Friends by Choice

“My name is Robert McCaleb, President of the Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association (SSMA). My purpose in writing is to make you aware of travel plan options should you be interested in attending the SSMA and City Memorial Ceremonies in Schweinfurt, Germany, in October of this year (2018). My family will be making individual separate travel plans to the city. However, my father’s former college has put together a package tour that includes Schweinfurt and other sites in Germany.  It is open to any interested travelers. If you have further interest or any questions, I would be glad for you to correspond with me at email

Thank you for your interest in remembering our WWII veterans, especially the reconciliation of the Schweinfurt veterans from all sides of the conflict.

MSSU Safari – Germany Adventure 2018

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1, Wednesday, October 10, 2018            DEPART FOR FRANKFURT

Our United Airlines flight from Tulsa will depart at 1100am for Frankfurt. Overnight flight schedule arriving Thursday morning around 700am. Additional details regarding our flight schedule will be communicated to you later.

Day 2, Thursday, October 11, 2018                 Arrive in Frankfurt, tour on the way to Nuremberg

Our scheduled morning arrival at the airport and then we’ll meet our Tour Escort and Motor Coach and tour along the way to Nuremberg. We will visit the town of Wurzburg and have a local guide give us a city tour. Later this afternoon we will arrive in Nuremberg and check-in to our hotel and get some rest. Standard room accommodations tonight at our hotel.

Day 3, Friday, October 12, 2018                       Nuremberg

Breakfast at our hotel included. Today is touring a full day in Nuremberg with a local guide. We’ll visit with admissions the Albrecht Durer House; Nuremberg Trials; and the Nazi Rally Grounds and Documentation Center. Tonight, you’ll be free to enjoy dinner at your leisure and explore on your own. (Breakfast included) Overnight at same hotel in Nuremberg, standard accommodations.

Day 4, Saturday, October 13, 2018                 Schweinfurt

Breakfast at our hotel included. Today we are leaving Nuremberg and traveling into Schweinfurt, touring Rothenburgh ob der Tauber en route (approximately 3 hour drive). During our visit to Rothenburg we will walk the Ramparts with your Tour Escort. Later afternoon arrival in Schweinfurt. Standard room accommodations at our hotel in Schweinfurt.

Day 5, Sunday, October 14, 2018                    Schweinfurt

Breakfast at our hotel included. Today is the 75th Anniversary of the Second Schweinfurt Mission. On October 14, 1943, Joplin Junior College graduate Kenneth McCaleb was shot down over Schweinfurt, Germany, on his 19th mission as a navigator aboard a B-17 bomber. On this “Black Thursday” raid on three ball-bearing factories, more than 600 airmen were killed or captured and 77 B-17s were lost. McCaleb spent the next 19 months in German prisoner of war camps before being liberated on April 29, 1945. During the 75th anniversary of the Second Schweinfurt Mission, Robert McCaleb, Kenneth’s son and president of the Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association, will be helping to lead ceremonies in Schweinfurt to commemorate the reconciliation of the veterans. Other activities will be planned today as well. Overnight at our same hotel in Schweinfurt.

Day 6, Monday, October 15, 2018                   Munich

Breakfast included at our hotel. Traveling today from Schweinfurt to Munich with a stop along the way in Regensburg (approximately 4 hour drive). A local guide will meet us in Regensburg for a 2-hour city tour seeing the Old Town; St Peters Cathedral; Stone Bridge; and Porta Praetoria. Admissions to the Schloss Thurn & Taxis included. Later this afternoon we’ll hope to stop at the Dachau Concentration Camp (time permitting), and then arrive in Munich. Standard room accommodations in Munich at our hotel.

Day 7, Tuesday, October 16, 2018                   Munich

Breakfast included at our hotel. Today we will have a half-day panoramic city tour of Munich, stopping in Marianplatz to see the Glockenspiel on the Neues Rathaus. The rest of your day will be free for you to explore the city, and enjoy this magnificent city. Overnight at our same hotel tonight in Munich.

Day 8, Wednesday, October 17, 2018            Munich

Breakfast included at our hotel. Today is a full day tour to Berchtesgaden & Salzburg. Admission to the Obersalzberg Documentation Center, access to the underground bunker system giving us an idea of the monumental scale of the former headquarters of the Eagles Nest compound in the Bavarian Alps. Lunch will be included at a restaurant nearby. We will also visit Mozart’s Birthplace and Residence in Salzburg. Overnight tonight back in Munich at our same hotel.

Day 9, Thursday, October 18, 2018                 Munich

Breakfast included at our hotel. Today is a full free day for you to explore the area. There are many sights in the region available to see, a full list of programs available will be communicated to you later. You can also explore Munich on your own if you wish. Overnight at our same hotel tonight in Munich.

Day 10, Friday, October 19, 2018                    Return to Joplin

Breakfast included at our hotel. Today we will leave from Munich airport around 1130am. Further details about our departure will be communicated later. Our anticipated arrival in Tulsa will be around 9pm. Transportation back to Joplin after our arrival is included.


 Great Full Length Movie Links Online – Tom Colones – US

U.S. B-24 Pilot Shot Down and Taken POW:

Instrument of War – BYUtv

US & British POW’s in a German Stalag Luft Camp:

Action War Movie 2018 – New Action Hollywood Movies Full Length English HD

Following a Father’s Footsteps – Saving Jewish POWs – Ross Greene – US –

 Tuskegee Airmen – Locations Where They Were Held as POWs – Barry Schoen – US

Eagle – Dubai

An  eagle’s power dive from the top of the world’s tallest building to his trainer below. The eagle was fitted with a camera and released from the top of  2715 foot  Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai. Somehow from the altitude, the eagle actually picks out his trainer among all the other objects and people.

Did You Know? – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

As part of the WWII plan to augment the German race with racially worthwhile people, the Nazis adopted the “Lebensborn” program under which an estimated 300,000 children were abducted by the SS from occupied countries and sent to Germany for forced adoption.  80 percent of them never returned.

 VL Books Now Available Again

For those of you waiting for our book on Col. von Lindeiner, From Commandant to Captive, Mike has just ordered more he can sell discounted to $22, including shipping.  As always, 100% of the proceeds go to the museum in Zagan. Contact Mike at

A reference to a von Lindeiner document recently sent to me from Canadian researcher, Dave Champion, has once more piqued our interest in von Lindeiner records at the British Archive, which Mike and I hope to pursue.

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers






Stalag Luft III Newsletter – January, 2018

Stalag Luft III Newsletter – January 2018

Greetings, Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

Marek recently received $1100.00 in donations from American children of POWs  and wanted to thank those contributors. It is difficult to find artifacts related to Stalag VIIIC that sat right next to Stalag Luft III’s West Compound and wanted to once more thank the donors.

“I’d like to thank all recent donors for their generous contributions. The money safely landed in the museum’s bank account. The donation helped me to buy a unique collection of Stalag VIIIC original pictures. It happened just two days ago. Thank you again my Dear Friends!”

Christmas Cake – POW son, Tom Lundquist – US

“The Christmas 1944 Kriegie news-sheet cover [Dec. newsletter] reminded me of something in my father’s (1st Lt. John Lundquist – Belaria) log book.

I believe that the Christmas cake pictured was made by my father, although there is no written text to support that. However, later, at Moosburg, he and others did make an Easter cake which won a contest.

I’ve puzzled over the words on this Christmas cake, and don’t know if the expression “Etto nitchivo” was commonly used by Kriegies. Do you know?

“Etto” may be an abbreviation for “each to their own,” but “nitchivo apparently is Russian- and means “never mind,” “a mere nothing,” “tolerable,” or “futile joy.” In one source I found from literature, “nitchivo” meant “They will reach their goal at length, for they look upon the dangers and delays as nothing.” Seems appropriate.”

Marilyn: I submitted this to Marek, who speaks and actually can teach Russian.

Marek:  “That’s interesting! I’ve never heard this before. However, I know all these Russian words. I’m sure that Kriegies learned this from the Russian POWs – no doubts!”

SLIII POW/Tuskegee Airmen – Alex Jefferson Video – John Dodds – US

Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency

Folded Wings

2nd Lt. William J. Bramwell – POW Daughter, Joan Wootton – US

On New Year’s Day, at almost 101 years old, William Bramwell passed away. On the day his plane went down, he was the most seriously injured, yet he was the last surviving man on that crew.  2nd Lt. Bramwell was a B-17 pilot shot down over Belgium on Nov. 5, 1943, injuring his spine upon bailing out. He was quickly picked up by the Germans and fortunately sent for fairly extensive medical treatment, first in Brussels, then in Frankfurt, and other nearby rehabilitation hospitals. He was scheduled to come home on a troop exchange because of his injuries but was delayed multiple times and eventually was sent to Zagan, arriving August 15, 1944. He stayed until November 28, 1944, living in North Compound according to his journal. When he left for repatriation for injured flyers, he went to Annaburg, a gathering point for British and American flyers, where he departed for Switzerland on Jan. 14, 1945, eventually coming home on the ship, Gripsholm, leaving from Marseilles Feb. 8, l945.

He was featured in this newsletter to mark his 100th birthday last year:


Lt. Bramwell front row, first man on the left

Lt. “Bill” Bramwell




William J. Bramwell, Jr., aged 100 years and 8 and 1/2 months old, passed peacefully with his family at his side on New Year’s Day. Mr. Bramwell and his wife Virginia, who passed in 1999, moved to Claremont, California after World War II where they built their home in 1955.  They raised three children,

Bill Jr., Virginia, and Joan. They were also blessed with six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Bill served in the Army Air Corps in World War II as a captain and pilot of a B 17  bomber stationed at Knettishall, England.  He served from 1942 until being repatriated in a prisoner exchange for wounded flyers in January 1945. He and his crew were shot down over Belgium in 1943, and he was a POW in German hospitals and Stalag Luft III.  He is a recipient of the Purple Heart.

He retired as a manager at Insurance Services Organization in Los Angeles in 1980 and was recently honored as their oldest living retiree.

Bill’s life spanned many chapters – born in Concordia, Kansas, at the end of WWI, attending a one-room school house, growing up on a Depression-era wheat farm, serving honorably in World War II, POW, returning veteran, suffering lifelong disabilities as a result of injuries incurred as he bailed out of his B17 over enemy territory, a 55+ year marriage, 33 year career, building a home and raising a family.

Bill and Virginia celebrated many years of a happy marriage.  Their lives centered around their family, traveling in the American Southwest, collecting native American jewelry and rugs, re-uniting with the remaining members of Bill’s B17 crew members and their families, and enjoying their retirement in Claremont.  Bill, of course, was renowned among family and friends for his sweet navel orange juice grown from his own trees, his juicy home grown tomatoes, and his many wonderful home cooked meals.  He could fix anything, build anything, and grow anything.  A good husband, father, and grandfather always ready to offer help and advice and always interested in what all his kids and grandkids were up to.

During the past several years, Bill resided at the Veterans Hospital in Long Beach where he became one of their oldest and most venerated residents. From janitorial and food service staff, to nurses who lovingly called him Papa, to doctors, he was revered for his military service and continued sense of patriotism and, despite his lifelong injuries incurred during the war, for never complaining.

Perhaps one of the best descriptions to remember Bill by was that written by George Watt, his B17 crew waist gunner… “low key, rugged, competent, his calm efficiency pulled us through some pretty tight scrapes.”  All of us who knew Bill can say he touched our lives in that manner.   It is a tribute to him to be remembered as such.

Bill, last man on the right, with his reunited crew

Lois Carter EdwardsPOW daughter, Leanne Cunliffe – Canada

Wife of SLIII and Buchenwald survivor, Ed Carter Edwards, whom we all got to know at the Dayton Reunion, has passed away. Condolences to the Carter-Edwards family.

Address Book Entry

In going through my father’s things recently, I found an old address book with the names of his POW friends. I can tell it got wet at one time, and this entry on the last page was smeared. But I recognized the last signature as Tom Wilson, affectionately known a Ma in the camp. (South Compound). I scanned it to him as a surprise. My father carried this book on the march and on the box cars, and kept it at Stalag VII-A in Moosburg. It was taken to Camp Lucky Strike and would have been taken aboard the troop ship home!

Tom Wilson on Marietta Street in Milwaukee, WI

Item Found in England 467th BG – Rackheath Trevor Hewitt – UK

I and two of our museum group were digging in the middle of a muddy field on the old 467th BG base at Rackheath just after Xmas. We had dug down about 5 feet or so when we found several items. One of these was a piece of Tuffnol board. This board is made up of a composite material and was used in the repair of electrical equipment, radios, and used as an insulator. The board came back to my home with all the other finds. I finally got around to start cleaning these finds and eventually I got to clean this piece. I washed the caked on mud off it and then started to polish it. I suddenly noticed something on the board when the light flashed on it. If I had not looked as closely as I did I could have very easily missed it perhaps never to have noticed it at all! It was a signature which had been scratched in the board and another set of initials which were FB.  The signature is “Theo L Rykiel”. It is in the centre of the white oblong box in the photo. I tried to copy the style of the writing to decipher the name.  So Theodore Luke Rykiel it turns out was a Tech. Sgt. Armourer in the 467th BG. His son posted the this photo of his father in uniform on the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, American Museum section website a while back. It would be great if I could trace his son and show him his father’s signature which had been buried for 70+ years at Rackheath. These small types of finds really fascinate me. Just to think Marilyn , this young man in a moment of probable boredom scribbled his name on the piece of board, not thinking anything of it at the time, and all these years later it came to light from 5-feet down in the ground on a damp cold Norfolk morning in December to spark a bit of a mystery.”

      White oblong box surrounds signature

Marilyn: “Years ago, I found the American family members of the crew of B-24 Belle of Boston for Trevor, a plane that crashed on Trevor’s grandfather’s farm during the war, so he asked me to see if I could find the son, Alan Stanczik. I believe I have found him and I’m waiting for him to call me.”

Wealth of Information Made Available by the Nat. Archives in London – Dr. Susanne Meinl, Germany

Scroll down to see actor, Peter Butterworth’s and Roger Bushell’s SLIII ID cards.

POW 1st Lt. Alvin Lynch –  Flag, Wings, Bracelet,  ID Card – POW daughter, Molly  Bohn – US

Molly’s father was co-pilot on Mike Eberhardt’s father’s crew. Her husband, Tom, has made a flag holder and display case for Lt. Lynch. He is also working on a display case for the flag that was used at the memorial service for the late SLIII/Buchenwald POW Richard Bedford who died September 30th 2017.

WWI Truce – Rob Davis – UK

After reading about the WWI Christmas truce in the last newsletter, British WWII Researcher, Rob Davis, sent the following poem he wrote about that event.

He also sent a picture of this plate:

“The ‘plate’ is actually the lid of the Christmas box that the Queen sent to all soldiers, containing sweets, cigarettes and other treats.”

Be sure to visit Rob’s many interesting and informative websites!

Base page

Bomber Command

Great Escape

Motorcycle Touring



Christmas, 1914

Rob Davis

The Private said, “What’s up, lads?

it seems right quiet out there,

but I don’t mind if Christmas morn

has no attack affair.”

We peered out from our trenches

(and so did all the Frenchies).


The Corporal said, “Stand fast, lads;

for we’ll not fight today.

For once, no battle, just because

it’s Christmas, and we’ll have a pause.

We’ll give Fritz no melée.”

We Privates thought this sounded fine,

and stood down right along the line.


The Sergeant said, “Stand fast, lads;

we’ll wait all quiet, and see

what happens, and if Fritz is still,

we’ll not attempt to do him ill;

all peaceful it will be.”

The Corporal nodded, all a-smile,

there’d been no rest for quite a while;

we Privates stood down all content,

against the walls our rifles leant.


The Captain said, “Stand fast, lads;

we’ll play it cool, and this’ll

do just fine, we’ll keep it calm

and hope that Fritz he wants no harm,

and doesn’t blow his whistle.”

The Sergeant said “Very good, Sir!

Enjoy your Christmas pud, Sir!”

The Corporal he gave orders,

“Stay well within your quarters!”

And told us all to lay off;

we’d likely get the day off.


The Colonel said, “Stand fast, lads;

here’s something to be seen;

a ray of light for trenches murky,

tinned chocolate, a slice of turkey

a present from the Queen.”

The Captain said “God save Her!

We’re grateful for the favour.”

The Sergeant, warmly dressed

was mightily impressed.

The Corporal passed the tins,

and said “Lads, here’s your dins.”

We Privates didn’t quibble,

we’d Christmas pud to nibble.


The General he said “What?”

And rose up from his benches,

“Whilst Fritz is eating Christmas pud,

our lads can do a whale of good,

and storm his ruddy trenches.”

The Colonel was dismayed,

but plans to go were laid.

The Captain said to “Stick it,

it simply isn’t cricket.”

The Sergeant he knew who was boss,

and didn’t argue much the toss.

The Corporal gave a telling,

“You there, lads, get fell in!”

We Privates downed our trifles,

and took up with our rifles.


Then came a voice from the other line –

“Merry Christmas, Tommy” – sounded fine;

so we all called, with no alack,

“Merry Christmas, Fritz!” we shouted back.

Then sailed into our dingy hide

a piece of sausage, then a tide

of bread, and bully, cheese and such.

For finest fare, it didn’t measure

but sure enough it gave us pleasure,

for tucking into bread and ham

beats shooting at the other man.


We tossed across what we could spare,

some tins and such flew threw the air;

(it made a change to not abrade

his dugouts with a Mills grenade.)

A face peered out from firestep yonder

and wondered if this all was blunder?

But then we all saw Fritz produce

a white shirt waved to show us truce.


The Corporal at the Sergeant looked

to see if this our goose was cooked,

the Sergeant caught the Captain’s eye

and saw his eyebrows rise on high.

The Sergeant saw his head a-nodding

and needed no more gentle prodding.

“Wave them back, lads, it’s all right!

What’s to hand that’s clean and white?”


We found a scrap of off-white cloth

and quickly tied it, nothing loth

to rifle’s end, and raised it so

that Fritz could see we’d have a go

to rise up from our muddy place

and be more friend than deadly foe.

Now we saw them, one by one

and cautiously with careful treads

without their rifles, no grenades

just tin hats on their grimy heads.


Our Captain was, by us, respected;

and sure enough, as we expected

he clambered up, to quickly meet

with Flanders mud beneath his feet

a German Hauptmann, where they stood

face to face, right where we could

see our Captain’s hand salute

the man who yesterday – he’d shoot.

We watched them both, tense to a man

’til saluted back the proud Hauptmann.


The Corporal cried, “It’s Christmas Day!

For Fritz and us, no fight – hooray!”

The Sergeant cried, “That’s right, I think!

We’ll share our humble food and drink

with Fritz, and find out if we can

what kind of enemy is our man.”

The Captain cried, “It’s safe, I reckon!”

We Tommies followed at his beckon.

Herr Hauptmann called out loud in German

and from his trench rose Wolf and Hermann.


A football from the blue appeared

and as we watchers waved and cheered

a kick-about ‘tween trench occurred;

no man on either side demurred.

Fritz and Tommy swapping cadges,

gaspers, lucifers, jacket badges;

no need to hide in trench’s cover

for all there understood the other.


Nobody seemed to want to war

like yesterday, or the day before;

amongst their crowd I picked a man

and thought “I’ll just see if I can

meet up, and without being rude

be pals for this short interlude.”


So Tommy there with Fritz did stand

to shake each other by the hand;

In Christmas cheer and gay bonhomie

“Good Luck, Fritz” and “Good Luck, Tommy!”

Whatever lay ahead their fate

men found men they could not hate.


Our Captain and the Hauptmann tall

saluted each and other all;

a whistle blew to spell the end

of peace ‘twixt enemy and friend.

We turned and trudged in fading light

and wondered why we had to fight.


The next day, had the bubble burst?

We waited – but who would fire first?

No rifles spoke, or Lewis chattered,

to keep things quiet was all that mattered.

But as sun lit the hills, we see

Fritz pounded by Artillery.


So it all began again

the senseless slaughter, and the rain

of shells and whizzbangs, frozen breath;

and friend, with foe, alike in death.


“Were you in the War, Grandad?”

Aye I was, and now right glad

that desperately so I tried

to shoot to miss, and aim aside.

For once I’d met Fritz, face to face

to shoot and kill was not my place.

I know it seems a shame

but I never knew his name;

and when the war was over

I’d have been pleased

to have had

a pint

with him.



The finding of Lt. David Foulkes’ dog tag recently brought an email from the son of one of my father’s best friend in South Compound, POW Charles Church. I had been looking for his son for eight years with no luck. Just before the SLIII Reunion in Dayton, Mike Eberhardt noticed a posting on a forum by Charles Church’s son and put me in touch with him. Son, Jim Church, ended up coming to the reunion where we finally met. Now he tells me his father and Foulkes were roommates in the camp!

Recently on ebay:  – Tom Colones – US

For those who still believe the Steve McQueen character in The Great Escape movie was real, Tom submits the following oddity reinforcing that error:


Bombardier School in 1942 at Midland, Texas – Midland Army Air Field – POW daughters – Elizabeth and Susan Holmstrom – US

Check the pictures to perhaps see the familiar face of a relative?

The first class was on 02-06-1942.  Training was twelve weeks.

Video of the History of Midland Field and the bombardier school there – Click on link below:

History Of Midland Army Airfield

Vintage Video of Franz Stigler/Charlie Brown of Book Fame. “A Higher Call” – Joe Lawrence – US

Franz Stigler & Charlie Brown BCTV 1997

New Records on Great Escape Found – New Book

Arlington Ladies – POW daughter and Arlington Lady, Carol Godwin, US

P-40 Pilots – Pearl Harbor – SLIII POW Ken Collins – US

A short video about two American P-40 pilots who were able to get off the ground at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 zS8HWFWaqa4

 The Air War from the German Perspective  – Susan Meinl – Germany,

WWII Aviation Photos – Ross Greene – Ross Greene – US

Mission4Today › ForumsPro › R & R Forums › Photo Galleries › WWII Aircraft Photo’s › USA

Change Course! – John Dodds – US

Rare Footage of the Red Baron – 1917  – Joe Lawrence, US

Notice them squirting oil prior to spinning the prop. The following is a very rare piece of film, 100 years old. It shows Baron Von Richthofen doing an external prior to a mission, as well as his putting on a flying suit prior to flight in cold weather. If you look closely, you will notice Hermann Goering. The Baron was shot down on 21 April 1918 by Roy Brown of the Royal Navy Air Services, a prelude of the RAF. The Aussies also claim that one of their machine gunners on the ground shot the Baron down. UK & Aussie doctors, after the autopsy, stated that the fatal bullet was shot from above. Ray Brown was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame on 4 June 2015.  Enjoy this up-close and personal look at the most legendary combat pilot who ever lived, the infamous Red Baron, Manfred Von Richthofen.

 Walt Disney Goes to War – Joe Lawrence – US

When the United States entered the war in 1917, Walt Disney wanted to enlist just as his brothers had but at only 16, he was too young. Disney found out the Red Cross Ambulance Corps was accepting volunteers as young as 17. So Disney utilized his artistic skills to change his birth date on his passport application from “1901” to “1900.” This photo is Disney in uniform by his vehicle before leaving Paris to return home. As can be seen in the photo, he decorated vehicles with cartoons while overseas. Later stating, “I found out that the inside and outside of an ambulance is as good a place to draw as any.”

In addition to the ambulance flaps, Walt created sketches for the canteen menus and for friends to send home to their families and girlfriends (for a small fee of course). He also sent funny sketches and letters back to his high school newspaper, “The McKinley Voice.” One of which revealed how homesick he actually was, the cartoon featured the caption, “Oh! I want to go home to my Mama!”. By August 1918, his brothers Ray and Roy had returned to Kansas City and Walt put in for a discharge

Did You Know? POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

 “Luftwaffe Stomp”—the name given by U.S. fighter pilots to a turn used in combat to evade German pursuers.  It involved stalling the aircraft and turning at the same time.  The maneuver was very effective in allowing the pilot to come out on the tail of a German fighter with a good chance of shooting it down.

Marilyn: Two personal notes –

On Jan. 25th my husband and I flew to Florida to stand with Pam Sconiers Whitelock and family, and members of “Ewart’s Army” the dedicated international group who searched for the left behind SLIII POW for so long as we lay her uncle, Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers, to rest beside his mother on the 27th of January, the 74th anniversary of his burial in Lubin, Poland. Two daughters, one son, and one grandson of the SLIII POWs who buried him that day stood in their relatives’ places for this burial. I will post coverage of and pictures from that re-burial in next month’s newsletter.

2. Some of you who know me are aware that our eldest son, John Walton, is the play-by-play broadcaster for the Washington Capitals Hockey Team. NBC has asked him to do the play-by-play for women’s hockey for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in early February. The Olympics Games will be carried on USA and NBCSN t.v. channels. On a 3-week leave of absence from the Caps, he will broadcast the women’s hockey games up to the bronze medal game when he will have to return to DC.  Now that the North and South Koreans have agreed to form a combined women’s ice hockey team, he will have the honor of calling those historic and unifying games. I know that his SLIII POW grandfather would be proud.

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers






Stalag Luft III Newsletter – December 2017


Stalag Luft III Newsletter – December, 2017

 Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Friends, and Families,

Wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all of our readers.

News Sheet Cover








Marek: “This is the 1944 cover of the Christmas issue of the news-sheet published by the POWs in Center Compound of Stalag Luft 3.”

 Christmas in Zagan

Christmas has come to Zagan. Enjoy these beautiful pictures sent by Marek. Everything but snow!

Marek: “According Polish tradition, Santa Claus visits the kids twice. First time is December 6th and Santa leaves the gifts at night under the pillow. The second visit is on December 24th, and the kids find the presents under the Christmas tree.”

“The steeple is an old Protestant Church–St. Trinity. It was destroyed after the war, and only the tower survived. It serves now as a tourist look-out tower.  It is not very far from where the YMCA office was located during the war, which provided the POWs sports equipment, Log Books, and other items they needed.”

A nice stopping place to sit and take pictures

The charm of Zagan

 Wreaths Across America

.. at Arlington Cemetery and national cemeteries across the country, Wreaths Across America has been providing wreaths for 26 years. The tradition seeks to place a fresh pine wreath on the headstone of every fallen soldier in a national cemetery. Around 1,000 locations in 50 states participate.

WWI Christmas Truce

Appropriate to the season is the story of the temporary Christmas truce when for a short time enemies in the trenches became comrades. Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere,” as Pvt. Albert Moren of the Second Queens Regiment recalled in a document later rounded up by the New York Times. Graham Williams of the Fifth London Rifle Brigade described it in even greater detail:

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

The next morning, in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading, “You no shoot, we no shoot.”  Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food, buttons and hats. A soccer game also took place. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain for weeks on “no man’s land,” the ground between opposing trenches. Hostilities returned. “I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence,” one vet from the Fifth Battalion the Black Watch, Alfred Andersen , later recalled. While there were occasional moments of peace throughout the rest of WWI, they never again came on the scale of the Christmas Truce of 1914.”

A cross now marks the spot where the truce and soccer game took place.

New Display at the Museum

Just in time for Christmas, Marek has finished the exhibit he designed to display information on Camp Commandant Friedrich von Lindeiner and his deputy, Major Gustav Simoleit.

Marek: “The belt buckle on von Lindeiner’s uniform is original and so is Simoleit’s suitcase. The uniform is an exact replica donated by a friend from Germany a few years ago. Now we need to find some replicas of Lindeiner’s medals. The whole Lindeiner display was arranged with the help of the US families’ donation (part of the ‘new room’ donation). The display next to it is an ‘escape’ display, with the fake German stamp, KLIM cans, silk escape map etc.”

 Inventory at the Museum

Every five years, Marek has to check and catalogue everything in the museum, so that process is now underway. By the way, 12,300 guests visited the museum in 2017.

Dog Tag Donated – Joseph D. Foulkes

 Marek: “This Santa was from Warsaw. A collector from Warsaw donated this to the museum. It was found many years ago in the trash pit near the camp.”

 [We are currently trying to locate relatives of Mr. Foulkes.]

 At the 2015 SLIII reunion in New Orleans, at one point I mentioned that Mike Woodworth would talk about his work correcting errors in Behind the Wire.  This is why the name Foulkes was familiar to me. Here is what I said:

“The personal entries in BTW are absolutely fascinating as they were dictated by the men when they arrived at the camp to POW McCright. Marek uses the book also, and he emailed me recently that he was missing a page. I scanned that page to him, but not before noticing the entry for a:

2nd Lt. Joseph D. Foulkes P-47 pilot shot down 10-14-44 – He lived in Barrack 129, room 7 and was from San Antonio, TX , arriving at SLIII 10-29-44. Here is what he dictated, a little different from the usual entries.

 “Hit by flak while bombing railroads near OKEN Aachen, Germany. Crashed with ship. No injuries. Ship tore down 120 yards of trees. Tail and wings torn off. Captured near Aachen on 10-16-44. Stayed with a Col. of the German infantry who showed me all plans. Very friendly, had cigars, whiskey, and he talked.  Examined each others’ pistols. Showed line of defense around Aachen from Russian front. Spoke excellent English.”

More Donations – Chris Armold – US

Marek: “Santa was at the museum too. This time his real name was Chris Armold, retired MSGT of the USAF. Chris is a photographer and author of “Steel Pots. The History of America’s Steel Combat Helmets. Chris visited me some months ago. After his visit, he decided to donate a few items from his collection. Here they are:

– large reproduction of the picture of the US POWs in North Camp (R.A.Vetter on the left.)  Marek did a quick search and found Vetter in Altoona High School.

– Oflag Luft 4 (Belaria) dog tag (We don’t have a name of the POW so far.)

– YMCA German-English conversation manual for the POW camps.

Chris  asked a friend of his in Germany who will become a history professor at the A.F. Academy to hand deliver the items to Marek

USAAF officers visor cap.

The cap was officially donated by Grissom Air Museum with the help of Chris.

Call to Quarters Bugle Call

 This is what the POWs heard Jan. 27th, 1945, when notice came that the camp was to be evacuated– the buglers played Call to Quarters. In West Compound, it was at 8:30 p.m. according to a diary I was just reading.

Happy 97th Leonard!

SLIII POW Leonard Spivey has just celebrated this milestone.



Incredible Finds in England Buried at 467th BG – Trevor Hewitt – UK

The New Farm Aviation Heritage Group, 10 New Farm, Buxton Rd., Frettenham, Norfolk, NR12 7NG

“These items are what the GIs buried on the airfield at the end of the war before returning home. A lot of this type of stuff was buried or burnt on the USAAF airfields because it would be too impractical or expensive to take it all home to the US. It is these caches of items that were buried by the 467th guys that we have been finding.

They are of just two of the items of the very many I found buried at the 467th BG base at Rackheath this last week. The machine gun is a Browning 50 caliber, one of a pair I found about 5 feet down in the ground. There was also four spare machine gun barrels buried with them plus many, many other items. I have put the gun through electrolysis and cleaned the soil concretion off of it and it is now ready to be lacquered to preserve it for display. The black item with wire attached is a bombardier’s bomb release button or “toggle.” I put a volt meter on the terminals at the bottom of the handle of the toggle and when the button on the top of it is pressed the needle on the meter moves showing that it still works after more than 70 years being buried . That’s good American engineering for you!!”

Of particular interest to the children of bombardiers:


In addition, Trevor and his crew have found these items:

“I thought you might like to see these photos. They are of items that I have found with the other lads from the New Farm Aviation Heritage Group at the old 467th “Rackheath Aggies” Bomb Group base at Rackheath, near Norwich. The “Aggies” were a sister group to the 458th BG, as you know. We have been given a year to search the old base for buried artifacts by the owners because after that it is going to be turned into a housing estate with hundreds of houses on the 500 or so acres it covers.

These are just a very few of the items that have been found buried at the old base. There are literally thousands more, far too many to show here. So here goes, a potted description of the photos! Photo 1 is everything from just one morning’s dig that we found. #2 is seven B24 Martin upper 50 cal gun turret curved shaped 250 round .50 cal ammo cans . #3 is a flak jacket metal plating square with a bullet or shrapnel hole in it. I wonder what story this little hole could tell? We can only speculate at the fate of the wearer of the flak vest. # 4 is four .50 cal machine gun dismantling multi-tools. #5 is a complete half inch armour plate “curved skirt” from a Martin upper turret, still has maker’s decal intact, a “star” find for us!!  #6 is a collection of airframe mechanics tools which were in a tool box.  #7 is a display of 467th BG aircraft photos and a model of the famous 467th B24 “Witchcraft.”  #8 is aluminum “Bomb Release Actuating Rods “from the bomb racks of a B24. Took me a while to I.D these rods but got there in the end!”

The 466th “Flying Deck” BG was based at Attlebridge about seven miles from Frettennham. Turkey huts are now all the way down the runway. A good pal of mine, Paul Hindle, is now in the process of doing some excavation work on some of  the old 466th BG base buildings and has gained permission to renovate one of them and turn it into a museum to the group. I have been giving him a hand with ideas for the room displays.”

Trevor found the 458th Memorial near the Norwich airport outside the terminal had been let go quite a bit and is in need of some love and care. He will see if his friends at the New Farm Aviation Heritage Group can do anything to help bring it back to A1 condition.

Interrogator’s Son Remembers Polish Pilot – Claudius Scharff –US

I and my mother and siblings were in a displaced persons camp in Scotland in 1945 waiting for a ship to get us to South Africa.  This was after my mother took us from Greiz [Germany] to  the UK following the end of the war.

I made friends (I was about 18 months old) with a Polish pilot who was also in the camp and was waiting to get shipped back to Poland. He was such a nice guy. He carried me around on his shoulders the entire time we were at the camp. I therefore have a very soft spot for Polish airmen. I can still see him in my memories to this day, 73 years later.

 Updated Behind the Wire – South Compound – POW son, Mike Woodworth – US

Mike has continually been making corrections to the voluminous Behind the Wire comprised of the former secret South Compound ledger recorded by POW Ewell McCright. It should be on the Air Force Academy website soon. Anyone interested in searching it should be able to obtain it there, or they can email Mike at

Mike also has a recommendation of a good book:

“Alone” by Michael Korda. It is a very riveting account of the war in Western Europe in 1939-40, up to and including the evacuation at Dunkirk. Korda not only describes the conflict as it unwinds, but also many of the personalities involved, including Churchill, Reynaud, Hitler, the various politicians, generals, admirals and lesser ranks. He also weaves in his own family’s reactions to the conflict as it unfolds, including his own fleeting memories as a six year old living in England with his Hungarian born film family.”

Ball Turret Gunner Falls Four Miles in the Plane Tail – John Dodds – US

Holmstrom Website – POW daughter, Susan Holmstrom – US

From more on Carl Holmstrom, mentioned in last month’s newsletter, see:

New Affiliation for Recovery of MIA/KIAs – Robert Coalter – Director, Army Air Corps Library and Museum – US

On this the anniversary of the December 7 attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor we want to make a special announcement.


This week we are announcing a strategic partnership between the Sons of Liberty Museum, the Army Air Corps Library and Museum, and the MIA Recovery Network to help in researching and locating American military personnel who were lost in combat.  The information is now live on each website under the “Projects” section.

Read the complete press release and follow/comment on Facebook pages:

Nazi Gold Book Now Available in German – Ian Sayer – Switzerland

Tuskegee Airmen Book Recommendation

 Keep Your Airspeed Up –   Dr. Harold Brown, Tuskegee Airman


 Three Pearl Harbor Survivors Seek Honors for their Savior – Joe Lawrence – US

3 Pearl Harbor survivors meet Trump, seek honors for savior

Drone Photography over the Camp and Tunnel Harry, with Superimposed Images from the Movie The Great Escape

Did You Know? POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

 The Holocaust memorial in Berlin is coated with an anti-graffiti chemical produced by the same company that manufactured the gas used in WWII German concentration camps.

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers




Stalag Luft III Newsletter – November 2017


Stalag Luft III Newsletter – November 2017

Dear Stalag Luft III POWs, Friends, and Families,

Hoping everyone had an enjoyable Veterans Day/Remembrance Day and Thanksgiving as we reflect on the service of so many:

and for our Canadian friends on Remembrance Day: (double click)

Happenings in Zagan

POW Carl Holmstrom was an excellent artist and lived in South Compound. High quality copies of Holmstrom’s works were donated by his children Susan, Elizabeth, and John in 2013. Thanks to them for allowing Marek to use the sketches to educate the people of Poland about the camp and the men who lived there. This display in a local school will remain for one year.

“Stalag Luft 3 – As Seen Through POW Carl Holmstrom’s Eyes”


“Art works by Carl Holmstrom landed in Allied Airmen Primary School in Ilowa, (Halbau). [This is the town where Center Compound stopped to stay in the small church there during the march.] Portraits and drawings will be displayed near the history classroom. I officially opened the display last Friday and after the opening I did a Stalag Luft 3 presentation for the kids.”

2nd Lt. Carl Holmstrom, a B-17 Flying Fortress bombardier, was shot down on 1/3/43 after making an emergency landing behind enemy lines, thirty miles NW of Gabes, Tunisia. He was captured the next day and went to Dulag Luft for interrogation one day after being shot down. He remained in Hohemark hospital there from 1/5/43 to 3/3/43. He next moved to Oflag XXI-B in Schubin, Germany, arriving on 3/6/43 and leaving 4/17/43. He arrived at Stalag Luft III 4/18/43, in South Compound, barrack 135, room 14.

Holmstrom received the American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and one Bronze Star. He was a famous portrait artist written about by Walter Winchell in his column. He was the author of “Kriegie Life,” a picture diary of his POW experience.

Marek with students


Marek tells the students about each POW.


Holmstrom’s picture on the right


Marek shows slides of the camp.

[I recognized this classroom! In 2009, when I and other sons and daughters, and relatives of SLIII POWs went back to replicate the Forced March of Jan. 1945, we stopped at this same school where the children had a big tea party for us, gave us gifts, and showed us around their school. It was a very memorable time for all of us. ]

Marek shows a map of the camp with Stalag VIIIC to the west of it. 

Polish Units Flying with the RAF

While many American fliers were stationed around Norwich, England, Polish units were stationed in other areas of England:

Fighter Squadrons: 302, 303, 306, 307 (Night SQ), 308, 315, 316, 317 Bomb Squadrons: 300, 301, 304, 305 all flew out of England. The Polish fliers were the biggest Air Force within the RAF.

Polish Independence Day – Nov 11th

The day allowed for another patriotism lesson at the POW Camps Museum. Students from the local primary school visited the museum to celebrate. Marek arranged a full guided tour, and the teachers prepared a short test for the students. They had to answer a few simple questions about history of the POW Camps.

Taking the test

The students were very special guests as the No. 4 Primary School in Zagan carries the names of the victims of Stalag VIIIC.

School banner carried by a student

 Zagan Has Surpassed Dresden

Nathan Huegen, Director of Educational Travel Operations, The National WWII Museum in New Orleans visited Marek recently.

Marek:  “Our museum will replace Dresden in the 2018 historical tours organized by the WWII Museum. Zagan is now officially on the travel schedule taking Dresden’s place.  [Day 4 of the tour] See link and YouTube clip.

POW Son Dick Butler Visits:

Dick’s father was in Center Compound in hut 56 and stayed in Center until the evacuation. He arrived in August 1943. Dick donated two books, including one written by a chaplain at SLIII, Eugene Daniel, In the Presence of Mine Enemies. Dick left a memorial plaque honoring his father:

Chaplain Daniel’s quote from the book in the Forced March chapter:

“One officer carried my communion chalice and paten. Happily, that communion set survived and is now on display on the communion table at Columbia Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Lieutenant Rueben Dahl, the officer who carried the communion set, became a Baptist minister.”

[I have since called the seminary to see if we can get a picture of the set.]

Censor’s Daughter Visits the Camp

Andrea Hatfield visited Marek on November 16th. Many will remember Andrea on the German Panel at the 2014 SLIII Reunion in Colorado Springs. Andrea is the daughter of German censor, Lisa Knuppel.  After spending some time at the museum, Marek drove Andrea and her husband, Buck, to the camp where she could visit the Kommandantur and North camp. They also drove to the train station, saw the memorial to the 50 murdered after the Great Escape, and then went to Jeschkendorf, the former location of the manor house of Commandant von Lindeiner, who was Lisa’s boss when she served as his secretary. She visited there often.

Andrea stands beneath the picture of her mother, Lisa.

Andrea sits on the remaining foundation of the main and the longest building in the German Compound where Commandant von Lindeiner’s office was.

Inside the museum with Marek

More Visitors!

Jeff Williams, son of POW Sgt. Francis Williams, visited the museum on November 4. His father was with RAF 35 Squadron Bomber Command Pathfinders flying Hadley Page Halifaxes and was shot down over Holland. Jeff thought that his father was in Stalag Luft 3 as he had some POW letters with that postal stamp.

Marek: “In fact, his father was in Stalag IVB Mühlberg, one of the biggest POW camps within Germany during the WW2, and I discovered that when he showed me the letters. It turns out his father’s letters went through Stalag Luft 3 as they were censored here. Even though Jeff’s father was not in Stalag Luft III, Jeff decided to donate five letters and a small piece of his father’s parachute to the museum. After bail out, Jeff’s father’s face was cut and he used a piece of the chute to stop bleeding.

After the visit, I gave Jeff some directions how to get to Stalag IVB. Jeff e-mailed me later: ‘After getting over the initial disappointment of finding that Dad was not in Stalag Luft 3, we went to Stalag IVB and there is still a fair amount there. I was able to locate the exact place of the RAF Compound because it was in one of the only places left of the camp, ironically, the latrine.’”

POW picture of Sgt. Francis Williams – courtesy of his son Jeff Williams

Letters censored at SLIII

RAF parachute piece

Conference at Lamsdorf

“German POW Camps’ Sites in Poland. Forgotten or Discovered?” – That was the name of the all-Poland conference organized by Central POW Museum in Lambinowice (Lamsdorf). Stalag VIIIB (later renamed Stalag 344) Lamsdorf was opened in 1939 to house Polish prisoners captured during the German September 1939 offensive. Later, approximately 100,000 prisoners from Australia, Belgium, British India, British Palestine, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, the Soviet Union, and USA passed through this camp.

The Central POW Museum in Lambinowice, and POW Camps Museum in Zagan are two of the biggest POW museums in Poland.

According to Marek, there are many former German POW camps in today’s Poland but only a few were ever commemorated. There are just a few museums (Stalag VIIIC/Stalag Luft 3 in Zagan, Stalag VIIIA in Gorlitz, Stalag VIIIB Lambinowice/Lamsdorf, Oflag IIC. and Dobiegniew/Woldenberg). Some of the POW camps were commemorated with exhibitions in local historical museums, and some of the camps only with a plaque (located on the site).

Marek: “On 17th November 2017, people from all over Poland (museum directors, curators, historians) came to Lamsdorf to discuss the topic. I prepared a presentation about Zagan’s camps and the museum. I elaborated on directions for development of the museum and our current activities, contacts, and ways of funding. I did not talk much about the history of the camps or POW life as all these people were professionals, and they are dealing with the history of the POW camps every day. All the lecturers were amazed and impressed by the number of the visitors in our museum (approx. 12,000 a year) which was the biggest number among all of the places represented during the conference. It was a great meeting and again great publicity for the museum. “

Marek’s presentation



 POW Son Visits Marek

Gene Speer’s father, Frank, was in Hut #160, room 16, in West Compound. He was a fighter pilot – P-51 Mustang (4th Fighter Group) and was shot down in May 1944.

Gene presented his father’s book, “One Down, One Dead” to Marek.

“There is a chapter on his Squadron Commander Mike Sobanski. He is on the cover of the book, on the left. Mike was a Pole; he was born while his mother visited friends in the US, and he automatically became a US citizen. But they came back to Poland, and he grew up here. In 1939, he joined the Polish Army (infantry), but after the defence war of Poland was over he used his US passport to fly to America. He joined the Army Air Corps and came back to Europe to beat the Germans. He was killed during D-Day. During his last mission, he flew Speer’s Mustang, ‘Turnip Termite.’ Frank Speer wrote in his book: ‘That day I lost my two friends:  Mike and “Turnip Termite.’”

There is a humorous story in the book alluded to in other POW memoirs. Kriegies liked to poke fun at the Germans. They tried to fool the guards by telling them that the large amount of vitamin C pills sent in the Red Cross parcels made them able to see things in total darkness. The German guard was inspecting the barracks with his flashlight during a bed check.  He entered one of the rooms which was in total darkness. As he shone his light around the room, he saw the men in their bunks reading books, and men at the table playing cards, sewing, etc.

West Compound Books:

Marek got this link from an US soldier who is now stationed in Zagan. His friend’s relative was in West Compound. His name was 2nd Lt. Dale E. Rauscher (hut 160).

Two other books of interest for those interested in West Compound are:

Escape from Terror by Paul Burton.


Bulletproof by Robert Barney.

Link to West Compound Log Book – POW son, Dick Olson – US

Use the following link to look at the pages in this Wartime Log.  They are sorted in order, and you can use the right/left arrows in the top right to scroll through them.  The browser window is not very friendly.

South Compound Senior American Officers

TCG (#1744) right end of 1st row, Griff Williams could be 7th fm. left & Davey Jones 3rd fm. right in 3rd row. Center row, 3rd Lt. Col. (later Gen.) A.P.Clark, friend of Davey Jones, July 18, 1944

Third row (L-R): Thomas B. Fleming, Walter C. Beckham, Stanley E. Hall, James E. Obrien, Charles H. Diamond, Robert E. Adamina, Griffith P. Williams (Doolittle Raider), Everett B. Howe, William A. Lanford, David M. Jones (Doolittle Raider, and Great Escape tunneller), Richard Aldrigde;

Middle row (L-R): Melvin McNickle, Richard P. Klocko, Albert P. Clark, Joseph A. Miller, Charles G. Goodrich (SAO), Lewis R. Parker, Jacob E. Smart, Charles D. Jones, Robert M. Stillman;

First row (sitting L-R): Hugh L. Williamson, Robert B. Short, Norman L. Widen, Abraham L. Burden, Murdo MacDonald , Jack M. Shuck, John H. Embach, Thomas C. Griffin (Doolittle Raider).

The picture was taken on the sports field of South Camp. German huts are in the background.

Mike Eberhardt Visits Mighty 8th Museum in Georgia

During Mike’s visit, he found the jacket of the late SLIII POW Irv Baum. The museum has an excellent POW display that many might want to visit as well.


            Irv’s Jacket

Part of Irv’s story is beside his jacket:

The museum also has a nice display paying tribute to Polish fliers:


 New Picture of the Library in South Compound – POW son, Mike Woodworth

POW Paul Shinsky (South, hut 128) is sitting on the right. His family visited the museum few years ago.

Does anyone recognize any of these men? Mike located this picture and several other interesting ones, some taken at Stalag VIIA, on this link, from Emory University:

Lancaster Flies over Vet’s Funeral – Ed Zander – Canada

 Dedication of the POW/MIA Chair at the US Capitol – SLIII POW Kenneth Collins – US

Link to the unveiling ceremony at the Capitol:

Arlington Cemetery POW daughter, Carol Godwin – US

Carol, a relative of Paul Tibbets who flew the B-29 Enola Gay and dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, is the daughter of SLIII POW Capt. William Carey, who was a chief operative in Military Intelligence Service-X ( MIS-X),  which was highly secret and functioned out of Ft. Hunt in Alexandria, VA. She has volunteered to serve as an Army Arlington Lady since 1995.  Army Arlington Ladies, of which there are approximately 60 (each must be an Army spouse or Army member), represent the Chief of Staff of the Army and his wife and the entire Army Family at the graveside service for every Army member buried at Arlington National Cemetery. [This includes our POWs who were Army Air Corps.] Arlington Ladies make sure that no Army soldier is without an Army Family member as he or she is laid to rest at a formal Army Full Honors or Standard Honors graveside service.

At each Army funeral, the Army Arlington Lady is escorted on the arm of a member of The Old Guard (see below) specially assigned for this duty; after the 21 gun salute, the Army bugler plays taps, and Old Guard casket team fold the flag which is presented to the next of kin. The Army Arlington Lady approaches the family, explains who she represents, provides condolence from the entire Army Family, thanks the family for their loved one’s service and for their service as a supportive Army Family, and presents the next of kin with an engraved card from the Army Chief of Staff as well as an Army Arlington Lady engraved card with her personally written note.

“Over the years, I have received many very kind words from the next of kin. Serving as an Army Arlington Lady is a deeply felt privilege to be with the soldiers’ families as one of the last to bid them farewell.”

The Old Guard

The 3d U.S. Infantry, traditionally known as “The Old Guard,” is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving our nation since 1784. It is the Army’s official ceremonial unit and escort to the president, and it also provides security for Washington, D.C. in time of national emergency or civil disturbance.

The unit received its unique name from Gen. Winfield Scott during a victory parade at Mexico City in 1847 following its valorous performance in the Mexican War. Fifty campaign streamers attest to the 3d Infantry’s long history of service,  which spans from the Battle of Fallen Timbers to World War II and Vietnam.

Since World War II, The Old Guard has served as the official Army Honor Guard and escort to the president. In that capacity, 3d Infantry soldiers are responsible for conducting military ceremonies at the White House, the Pentagon, national memorials and elsewhere in the nation’s capital. In addition, soldiers of The Old Guard maintain a 24-hour vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns, provide military funeral escorts at Arlington National Cemetery and participate in parades at Fort Myer and Fort Lesley J. McNair.

Military Intelligence Service-X (MIS-X)

The WWII secret organization for which Capt. Carey worked was known only as Post Office Box 1142. It worked independently but also cooperated with MI-9 (Military Intelligence 9) in London on intelligence projects. Both were able to discreetly send items such as Monopoly game boards that concealed maps, shaving brush and razor handles that held maps, and buttons that held tiny compasses to POW camps in order to help the POWs escape.

Lt. William (Bill) Carey, a trained MIS-X Code User (official name), corresponded with a “girlfriend” named Lorraine. After the war, at his debrief in Washington, DC, he met Lorraine, who was a short, bald-headed, man, and Carey’s MIS-X covert contact.  On the day of Capt. Carey’s 18 Dec. 2008 burial at Arlington National Cemetery, the flag on the tall flag pole at the Fort Hunt monument honoring MIS-X members, where Carol is standing in the photo below, was lowered in his honor.

After the war, all MIS-X structures located at Fort Hunt were completely destroyed and all MIS-X records burned, leaving no trace of the top secret war-time operations that had gone on there.

Carol and I visited Ft. Hunt when I recently went to Virginia.

Carol Godwin in front of the memorial at Ft. Hunt

Plaque explaining MIS-X

Capt. William Pershing Carey

Ebay Picture

This sketch found on Ebay shows how close planes flew over SLIII.

Coincidentally, this sketch looks very much like Hut 135 in South Compound according to Marek. See picture below from last month’s newsletter:


Marek: “I’m sure that the drawing showing planes over the camp was inspired by this event (See attached clip from ‘The Gazette,’ Center Compound’s newsletter, 1944).”


SLIII/Buchenwald POW Flies on Canadian Glider – POW James Stewart – Canada



 “This event took place at the old air force base at Chatham, New Brunswick, four hours driving each way from St. Andrews. Had to make two trips: original on 21 Oct. was cancelled due to unforeseen change in wind patterns.

Was at a recent local dedication ceremony of our Air Force Association, discussing my flying career with one of the lads, and I jokingly mentioned the fact that I had always been intrigued about flying without use of a 2500 horse power Napier Sabre engine. Next thing, they had made appointment for me with Air Force cadets who use gliding as part of their syllabus.

This glider, as you can see, is just a basic trainer, far removed from those used in World War II.  It took a shoe horn and a great deal of pulling and shoving to get these old bones and muscles settled in and out, but the trip was really awesome, worth all the hassle.”

Folded Wings

 William J. Connor – Center Compound POW son, Mike Woodworth – US

Condolences to sons Brian and Brent, and daughter Claire.

William was in the 95th BG, initially 334th BS, then 335th. He was co-pilot of 44-6085, with pilot Albert Powell, navigator Don Overdorff and bombardier Phil Whalen. They were shot down 25 August 1944 apparently on a mission to Rechlin or Politz Germany, hit by flak over target, and crashed in Schwabach Germany. The MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) is 8279. All officers, the engineer, radio operator, and a waist gunner were POWs, the rest were KIA.


POW grandson, Phil Johnson, was looking for a good picture of a P-38, since his grandfather flew one during the war. I asked German author, Wolfgang Samuel, who sells his books each weekend at Udvar-Hazy – the Air and Space Museum located at Dulles Airport, and he gladly took the picture of the aircraft. Thanks Wolf!  Turns out that this is the actual plane the Phil’s grandfather flew to the museum for display.

Phil: “This is the only WWII P-38 that is in the condition it was in during the war.  No re-paint, no modification, my grandfather’s throat mic, logbook, and pencil were still sitting on the seat when they opened it up in 2003. The plane was flown by Dick Bong, America’s top ace of all time while doing some testing. It was taken to a storage facility where it sat for 50 years before being put in the Udvar Hazy Center.”

 Need MACR Codes?

For those ordering and receiving Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRS), if you see a lot of codes letters next to names, refer to the chart below to interpret.

Abbreviation     Meaning
ALW Alive and well
ASN Army Serial Number
DED Declared Dead; missing and presumed dead pursuant to Section 5 of the “Missing Persons Act,” Public Law 490, 77th Congress, 7 March 1942, as amended.
DL Dead List
DOW Died Of Wounds
DOWRIA Died Of Wounds Received In Action
DNB Died, Non-Battle; due to sickness or non-combat injury.
EUS Evacuated to the United States
EVD Evaded (or escaped)
FOD Finding Of Death; equivalent to DED, above
INT Interned in neutral country
IO Initial Only, referring to a name
KIA Killed In Action
KILD Killed In Line of Duty
LWA Lightly Wounded In Action
MIA Missing In Action
NMI No Middle Initial, referring to a name
NOK Next Of Kin
POW Prisoner Of War
RMC Returned to Military Control
RTD Returned To Duty
SWA Seriously Wounded in Action
WIA Wounded In Action

MACR_Abbreviatons.php Rev. 1.0, 3 November 2010

People Interested in Re-enacting the POWs March from Zagan to Spremberg

I receive many emails from people who have asked me if there will be another re-enactment march like the one I and 14 other kriegie kids made in 2009 to pay tribute to our POW relatives, marching 52 miles from the SLIII camp to Spremberg where the men got on the box cars in Jan. 1945. If anyone is inclined to do that, let me know, and I will put you in contact with each other.

Polish Blechhammer Tour Schedule for 2018 – Szymon Serwatka – Poland

Many of our readers took the tour last year and endorsed it highly. Here is the schedule for the tour for next year. Anyone wishing to go, can contact Szymon directly—address at the end.

Trip Schedule

Day 0 – arrivals to Kraków

Day 1 – Kraków Castle and Old Town

Day 2 – Wadowice, Jeleśnia – B-24 memorials

Day 3 – Auschwitz death camp

Day 4 – Blechhammer USAAF WWII target

Day 5 – Żagań Stalag Luft III POW camp

Day 6 – Wrocław Old Town, Walim tunnels

Day 7 – Jewish Kraków, Wieliczka Salt Mine

Day 7 +1 – departures from Kraków

Your Guide

I am Szymon Serwatka. I will be your personal guide and your driver.

I have been researching USAAF missions to Poland for the last 20 years. My friends and I identified almost
200 crash sites or landing locations
of American aircraft in Poland.

I wrote 2 books and many articles
for different aviation magazines.

I have been helping to find American MIAs in Poland, too.

Day 1

We will start in Kraków, and we will see the Royal Castle and the Cathedral on the Wawel Hill.

We will take a tour of Krakow Old Town in an electric cart.

We will visit the market square with a historical trade hall, St. Mary’s Church, and an underground  exhibition about medieval Kraków.

Day 2

This day is related to the USAAF bombing of IG Farben in Auschwitz on September 13th, 1944.

We will visit memorials to two B-24 crews who were shot down on this date. One was from the 485th (we will see the crash site) and the other from the 460th Bomb Group.

We will also see a Polish-American museum in Wadowice.

Day 3

We will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp where 1 million Jews were murdered, together with 70,000 non-Jewish Poles, and 30,000 people from other nationalities.

We will also see where the IG Farben Auschwitz chemical factory was, which was bombed 3 times by the USAAF in 1944.

Day 4

On this day we will leave Krakow and go to Kędzierzyn-Koźle, known in World War Two as Blechhammer.

The town’s synthetic fuel factories were at the extreme range of the USAAF bombers, and were heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns.

We will see the factories, a former slave labor camp, and the museum dedicated to the 15th Air Force.

Day 5

After staying overnight in Wrocław, we will continue west to Żagań.

We will visit a museum dedicated to POW camps. It is located where the Stalag Luft III was. This camp was known from The Great Escape.

We will see a reconstructed POW hut, foundations of the camp’s buildings, and where the main Great Escape tunnel (Harry) was.

Day 6

We will visit Wrocław’s magnificent Main Square, with a place that has been serving beer since 1275.

We will see “Panorama Racławicka” (1894) which is a giant 360 degree painting best viewed from a centrally located viewing platform.

On the way to Kraków, we will visit mountain tunnel systems at Walim built by the Nazis in 1943 and 1944.

Day 7

We will go to an historical Salt Mine in Wieliczka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Then we will visit a museum in Schindler’s factory, made famous by Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List.” We will end the day in Kazimierz, Kraków’s Jewish district, where we will see a medieval Gothic style synagogue.

April 8-14, 2018 Tour

arrivals on April 7th, departures on April 15th

Hotels (Paid at the hotels. Szymon books for you) $600
(single room)
(double room)
Personal guide
Entry tickets(Paid to Szymon)
$700 $700
Total $1300 $1050

Cancellation fee: $350 under 60 days from tour start

The tour cost does not include:
Flights to/from Krakow
Airport transfers
Lunches and dinners (estimated at $30
a day per person. 7x$30 = $210)

Number of travelers: min 5, max 7

September 9-15, 2018 Tour

arrivals on September 8th, departures on September 16th

Hotels (Paid at the hotels. Szymon books for you) $670
(single room)
(double room)
Personal guide
Entry tickets(Paid to Szymon)
$700 $700
Total $1370 $1080

Cancellation fee: $350 under 60 days from tour start

The tour cost does not include:
Flights to/from Krakow
Airport transfers
Lunches and dinners (estimated at $30
a day per person. 7x$30 = $210)

Number of travelers: min 5, max 7

Contact Szymon at:

Canadian Version of Ogilvie Book Now Available – POW son, Keith Ogilvie – Canada

An update on the availability of a Canadian edition of Keith’s book:

“I confirmed today that unfortunately it is limited according to the contract with the original publisher to Canadian sales, so it won’t even appear on the US version of Amazon.  It can, however, be ordered by anyone in the US who is interested from Heritage House Distributors (”

Map of Stalag VII-A, Moosburg, after Liberation – Dr. Susanne Meinl – Germany

This map shows the numbered barracks. After liberation, Germans awaiting trial or denazification stayed in the camp.

100th BG Reunion Unites POW Daughter and Danish Friends – POW daughter, Linda Berkery – US

Linda united the families of her father’s crew and the family of the Danish fisherman who rescued her father and some of his crew when the plane ditched in that area.

Linda, left

“The photo with the book showing my father’s photo is Kirsten Gaulshoj – she is the daughter of the skipper, Svend Lundager Pedersen. Kirsten received the envelope with all the original documents to bring to Esbjerg, Denmark, for the museum, and I also made a book for her with copies of everything including all four airmen who were rescued and the list of the 97 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of our fathers. The book is opened to my father’s page.

This large group photo shows Jesper Skouenborg and his family, wife, and three children sitting on the bench surrounded by some of the children and grandchildren of the rescued men. Jesper is holding a plaque and his son is holding the American flag which had flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C., both of which Linda presented to them.

Linda: “Children and grandchildren of WWII fliers and the fishermen who rescued them from the North Sea arrived from New York, South Carolina, California, Oregon, Colorado, Louisiana, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and the coasts of Denmark. We seemed pulled and guided to this reunion in memory of our fathers: Richard Carey, William Styles, Robert Lepper, Maynard Parsons, the American fliers, and Svend Lundager Pedersen and Viggo Skouenborg, the Danish fishermen. We honored thirty hours shared by our fathers on a fishing boat from July 25 to July 26 in 1943.

“All the children of the Danish families and the American families signed one of my husband’s prints from the oil painting of the rescue for the museum.”


Kirsten with the grandson of the skipper, (her nephew) Svend Lundager, named after the skipper.

Emmet “Mutt” Cook’s B-17 POW son, Emmet Cook – US

POW Emmet Cook was a famous artist in the camp, and his “I Wanted Wings” sketch was copied in so many Log Books—the sketch later licensed by Disney. His son recently spotted his father’s plane, Holey Joe, online in the link below which shows some Life Magazine airplane photos. In that picture, is Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI (of “The King’s Speech” movie fame) who was visiting at a USAF base in England.


 Sicily/Rome American Cemetery

 On All Soul’s Day, November 2, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at a cemetery where more than 7,800 members of the U.S. military are buried. Many of the soldiers died in 1943 during Operation Husky, the Allies’ campaign to liberate the island of Sicily from the Axis powers Twenty-three pairs of American brothers are buried there side by side. See link below for brief video on this beautiful cemetery.

Burial At Sea 72 Years Ago SLIII POW Kenneth Collins – US


(l to r) Digby Denzek (Radioman), Lt. Robert Cosgrove (Pilot) and Loyce Deen (Gunner) on the flight deck of the USS Essex in front of a Grumman Avenger TBM. Loyce Edward Deen, an Aviation Machinist Mate, 2nd Class, USNR, was a gunner on a TBM Avenger. On November 5, 1944, Deen’s squadron participated in a raid on Manila where his plane was hit multiple times by anti-aircraft fire while attacking a Japanese cruiser. Deen was killed. The Avenger’s pilot, Lt.; Robert Cosgrove, managed to return to his carrier, the USS Essex. Both Deen and the plane had been shot up so badly that it was decided to leave him in the plane. It is the only time in U.S. Navy history (and probably U.S. military history) that an aviator was buried in his aircraft after being killed in action. v=ndCPxz_rPGI

A side note:

An Avenger Radioman and Gunner in the VT-100 group who was assigned to the USS Bunker Hill was 3rd Class Aviation Machinist Mate, actor Paul Newman.

Names of Vietnam War Casualties by City and State  – SLIII POW Leonard Spivey – US

I have posted this link in a past newsletter but it bears repeating for those who have never seen it. iStates.htm

First click on a state. When it opens, scroll down to the city where you went to high school and look at the names. Click on the name and it will give details of the person’s death, a picture or at least their bio and medals.

Polish Language HumorStephen Marks, Lubin, Poland

Be sure to click on the video.

Comment from Marek:  “Great comedy! Just shortly after this scene (interrogation by the SS) the man was sent to the POW camp and as soon as he landed in the stalag he joined the group of POWs who were digging the tunnel. Hilarious!”

Pilot’s Remains Found in Tree Returned for Burial after 72 Years – Evan Thomas – UK

Did You Know – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

Stanislawa Leszczynska —a Polish mid-wife—delivered 3000 babies in

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers




Stalag Luft III Newsletter – October 2017


Stalag Luft III Newsletter – October 2017

Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

New POW Plaque

Below is the new plaque designed by Marek which incorporates the names of the POWs whose names have been added after the recent fundraiser.

The Stalag Luft III Clipped Wings logo is in the background of the plaque—special lighting shows it more vividly in the museum. It is so nice to see all these men honored. Thank you, Marek, for your work on this and thank you donors!

Donation Wall at the museum with new plaque added

Dick Butler, son of P-38 pilot, POW Richard Butler,

(Hut 56, Center Camp) visited the museum recently

paying tribute to his father by bringing this plaque

displayed below.

Dagger Brigade Arrives in Zagan

After nine months, U.S. soldiers from Fort Carson (Colorado Springs) are returning home. New troops arrived in Zagan to replace them, and they will stay for the next nine months. The Red Dagger Brigade came from Fort Riley, Kansas.

Colonel David W. Gardner, Commander,

2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry

Division (Big Red One)


3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, case their unit colors, and 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, uncase their unit colors during a transfer of authority ceremony in Zagan, Poland, September 29, 2017. That marked the end of 3rd ABCT’s rotation for Atlantic Resolve. The pictures below were taken at Gen. Maczek Square in Zagan. The new troops brought their own tanks and equipment which was unloaded on the railway platforms on the site of Stalag VIIIC. They will keep it in Karliki Military Camp, 500 meters from Stalag Luft 3.

Pictures by Lt. Krzysztof Gonera

The Polish Army participated in the ceremony.


Colonel David W. Gardner visited the museum on Thursday, Oct 5th. He was accompanied by the Mayor of Zagan, Mr. Daniel Marchewka.


 Dagger Brigade Event Day in the Camp

See link below for pictures and video of the Dagger Brigade that was such a big hit with the Polish people visiting the camp Oct. 21st.

Marek: “Our display was a part of the big event organized by Lubuskie County authorities. It was called Scientific Weekend. Museums, schools, universities, etc. organized different types of meetings, lectures, presentations, and displays. My event was called, Open Day at the POW Camps Museum. We conducted several free guided tours called, ‘The Great Escape – Myths and Facts.’ Over 750 guests visited the museum that day! We were on the local TV evening news. Great success and publicity.”

Marek has also sent pictures of the day. Since he has done several projects for the Polish 11th Cavalry Division, spending six months with them, he has become one of them, and he is the only civilian with the permission to drive their tanks. The men in the pictures wearing camouflage are Americans. A few men are in WW2 American uniforms. They represent the Historical Association, Big Red One, Poland.


Marek driving the first tank. He is in the open hatch in the front of the tank.

Marek interviewed by local news

Unusual Storm

“We had a hurricane in Zagan last Thursday night. Much damage in the town. Fortunately, no damage at the museum (except one fallen pine tree). But we had no electricity for a few days. Hurricanes are very rare in Poland. This year we had one during the summer in northern Poland. Huge damage, terrible.”

(Just a few days ago, a second hurricane hit Zagan, and once more the museum lost power, so Marek closed it today.)

Interview with a Stalag Luft III Censor

On October 14th, Marek, along with German, Ingo Hauck, drove to northern Germany to interview Stalag Luft III censor, Gertrud K. (last name withheld at Gertrud’s request), spending five hours with her. Gertrud, 95, greeted them very warmly. Marek recorded the entire interview. The interview and its transcription will become part of the museum’s collection for researchers.

Gertrud left school at age 19 when she was called up to “Labour Service” (RAD – Reicharbeitdienst). She worked on farms for seven months and then worked five more months in an ammunition factory. Meanwhile, her parents found a language school for her in Dresden where Gertrud learned English, Spanish, and typewriting. In 1943, Luftwaffe officers visited colleges all over Germany looking for interpreters to work in the POW camps. Gertrud decided to take the job with two other friends from the Dresden school. They went to Stalag Luft 3 on 15th October 1943. At that time, there were about 25 censor girls there. The number rose up to over 100 in January 1945. Gertrud was censor No. 93.  In early February, 1945, all the censors were evacuated by train from the camp a few days after the POWs marched out. After the war, she worked as a secretary for the West German Government. She retired in 1982.

Gertrud mentioned all the names we know: Glemnitz, Major Gustav Simoleit, and Kommandant Friedrich von Lindeiner etc., but she had no chance to meet them personally as the censor girls were not allowed to socialize with the military staff. She remembered the Great Escape, saying there was much movement in the camp, and the censor girls did not work that day, being confined to their barracks in the camp. Marek took a big aerial picture of the German compound to show her, something she had never seen before. She pointed out the censors’ barracks for him and showed him the kommandant’s office, kitchen, and the guard barracks.

The censor girls had their own reunions. Von Lindeiner and his deputy, Simoleit, attended one in 1961. Then in 1988 the censor girls were contacted by the American POWs. POW Dick Schrupp called Gertrud one day. The group of the American POWs, including Schrupp and Lt. Gen. Clark, visited the censors in 1989 (in Frankfurt) at their invitation. In 1990, the censors were invited by the Americans to the Stalag Luft III reunion in Norfolk, Virginia. They had a great time there, and the Academy has a DVD of their panel discussion.

This interview and visit with Gertrud was the direct result of the many donations given by the generous SLIII families. She was so grateful for the visit with Ingo and Marek, knowing their interest in her work at the camp and learning that her words would become part of the museum’s growing research collection. Marek and Ingo were honored to speak with Gertrud and wish to thank  all of you who made this possible.

Gertrud and Marek

Gertrud examines the maps.

Gertrud in the barracks at Stalag Luft III

Frankfurt – 1989 – Censors Reunion – The man far right (next to Gen. Clark who is second from the right, back row) is Lloyd R. Shoemaker, author of “The Escape Factory,” the story of MIS-X. POW Dick Schrupp is sitting on the floor. Gertrud K. (light blue blouse) sits behind him. The others are “censor girls” and family members. More on MIS-X in next month’s newsletter.

Courtesy USAFA McDermott Library, Stalag Luft III Collections

Extra Pictures

A few pictures were inadvertently omitted from the last newsletter. Better late than never!

Warwick Thomas family visiting from Australia visits the replica hut:

Mary and Warrick at the Memorial to the 50 killed after the Great Escape.

Warrick and daughters

Below: 78th Anniversary of the Invasion of Poland Day: The mayor speaks.

Marek shows the visitors the new room.

Polish Lt. Piotr Gubernator, very pleased with the new room

Polish Army firing a volley salute

Schweinfurt, Germany Trip – 2019 – POW son, Robert McCaleb – US

The Second Schweinfurt Memorial Assoc. is planning to have a representative or representatives in the city for the 5th anniversary ceremonies on Oct. 14, 2018, the date known as “Black Thursday” in U.S.A.F. history. In 1998, veterans of both sides commemorated their reconciliation by dedicating a monument which included the inscription, “Dedicated by some who witnessed the tragedy of war, now united in friendship and the hope for lasting peace among all people.”

While members of the SSMA can give travel tips, all travel will be independently arranged by the travelers. SSMA will not be coordinating any travel plans. They welcome all to join them.

For more information contact Robert at or Sue Moyer at

Proposed activities: ceremonies and events surrounding the 75th Anniversary of the Second Schweinfurt mission, meeting local citizens, and possibly visiting crash sites. The trip allows visitors to travel independently to other sites at Nuremberg, Munich, or south to the Bavarian Alps.

Folded Wings

POW Primo Lursardi 

POW John Harvey Henry – 2nd cousin, Robert Berry – U.S.

Mr. Henry passed on October 18th at age 94. John flew with the 348th Bomb Squadron, 99th Bomb Group.

 Condolences to both of these families from the Stalag Luft III Community.

 German Tribute – Bernd Schmidt – Germany

Bernd Schmidt with plaque placed at Buchenwald for the 168 Allied Airmen held there. The plaque was created by Mike Dorsey, filmmaker, who produced the “Lost Airmen of Buchenwald” award-winning documentary. Notice stones of remembrance left by visitors.

Thanks to Bernd for the following recent story:

Bernd found WWII airman, Victore Kinkade’s niece, Mary Kinkade Maddox, who visited the area of Weimar in Germany on September 3, 2017. Mary had written two booklets about the killing of her three uncles, including Victore. She visited to look for the location where on July 29, 1944, her uncle, together with four of his crew, was murdered by Nazi officials. Bernd had researched the crew and arranged for a monument to pay tribute to them. At the ceremony at the memorial that commemorates the murders, many attended including the German Prime Minister.

During an air battle over the village of Ottmannshausen, a woman looked out from her window and was killed by a bullet at the same time a B-17 was shot down. The crew bailed out and was captured by Germans. Then Nazi officials ordered the USAAF airmen to the house of the killed woman. They were accompanied by a truck full of Gestapo who called the airmen of the bomber murderers of the woman. The local farmers and citizens were very angry and believed the false charges, and they demonstrated their anger. Finally, two Nazi officials killed the five airmen with their pistols. It was obvious that the Nazi officials were planning to kill the airmen and tie it to the downing of the plane. According to the Geneva Conventions, the airman were designated POWs. They never had a trial, and it was preposterous to think that a B-17 bomber could shoot a woman in the head as she stood at her window.

It had been Mary’s wish for a long time to come to Germany to visit the location of the killing of her Uncle Victore and to thank the people of Ottmannshausen for the memorial which commemorated the tragic incident. The memorial was erected 17 years ago. She wanted to shake the hands of the family of the killed woman for the sake of forgiveness and reconciliation, the woman and the airmen  all being victims of the war, which was evidenced by their emotional meeting. Tears rolled down their faces.

One other airman had parachuted from the B-17 that day. He was Robert Fife, 100th Bomb Group, who landed in another area saving his life. He wasn’t captured with the others.  After his capture by the Germans, he was sent to Stalag Luft III.

Bernd had looked for the relatives of the killed airmen for 15 years. He found a relative of the pilot, Carl Gustafson, Nita Nell, who sent information but couldn’t attend the ceremony. She sent many greetings and regards.

He also found the ninth member of the crew, Robert Fife. Mary had written of him in booklets she wrote. Two other members of the crew were killed in the nearby village of Daasdorf by Nazi officials also. Another crewman died parachuting from the plane.

German newspaper coverage:

Letter to Bernd from Mr. Fife:

Below is Mr. Fife’s account. A few errors are corrected at the end of some pages. The account will be enlightening for those whose POWs were in Stalag Luft IV.


Bernd is interested in hearing from anyone who had family of crew or friends related to those crews involved in cases, crashes, missions, or KIAs who were in the area of Thuringia around Erfurt; Weimar, or Buchenwald. Let me know, and I will provide his contact information.


Bernd together with Mary in front of the Memorial

in Ottmannshausen at the ceremony


Officials of the county together with the Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow



Member of Grave Registration Command Thuringia,

Henrik Hug, Bernd, Mary


Mary shaking the hand of the grandson of the killed

woman, Frieda Hochstein


Mary hugs the grandson of the woman killed.


One final photo of Mary and Bernd at the memorial in Ottmannshausen

SLIII POW Carl Groesbeck

I met Carl recently at the 306th BG Reunion in Indianapolis. He will soon be 100. He was in Center Compound. Susan O’Konski has provided his oral history below:

306th Veterans Fly High

Below: Veterans of the 306th Bomb Group take a flight on B-17 Yankee Lady in Indianapolis. The Governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb, and his wife joined them on the flight. The governor later presented the men with medals.

Sketch of Stump Puller – POW daughter, Carolyn Miller Clark – U.S.

The sketch below was drawn by Carolyn’s father, Lt. Col. Albert P. Clark, in his Log Book. Stalag Luft III had an ancient stump puller that was in constant use. The structure in the foreground is an incinerator.


“At Moosburg, Bavaria, fuel shortage was acute as well as stoves. With the popular kriegie tin can burner, wood had to be secured as paper burned too fast.  Guard fence posts were torn town, abort partitions, bed boards and floor boards split up, doors went—all utilized to provide us with one hot meager meal per day.”

Primitive Conditions at Belaria – Dave Champion – Canada

Belaria Compound, outside Stalag Luft III proper:

Toilets at Stalag Luft III – Belaria

100th Bomb Group Reunion – Washington DC

On October 23rd, several POW Kriegie Kids stopped by the 100th Bomb Group Reunion to visit with friends there. Congratulations to the 100th for a wonderful reunion.

Mike Eberhardt, Carol Godwin, Marilyn Walton, Ted Miller, Carolyn Clark Miller


Doolittle Plane Recovered POW nephew, James Castle – UK

Bob Hope Tribute – POW son, Ed Wheeler – US

Did You Know? – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

The German siege on Leningrad cost the Germans military in 300,000 soldiers killed — the U.S. had 292,000 combat deaths during the entire war. (Another 113,000 Americans were killed in non-combat related actions.)

Final Thoughts:

On a recent visit New Orleans for the 8th A.F. Reunion, I saw a new VA Hospital facility built after the flood. It is state of the art and enormous, over a mile square. On a marker there are these words:

“The Price of Freedom Can Be Found Behind These Walls.”

Beautiful words that say it all.

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers






Stalag Luft III Newsletter – September 2017



 Stalag Luft III Newsletter – September 2017

Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

The new plaque for the donors of the last fundraiser Mike Eberhardt and I did for Marek’s new room addition at the museum is finished.  The plaque below is the final version in gold that now hangs in that room. The original flag plaque is now completely filled. Marek, who designed this one as well as all the others, is just finishing redesigning it to hold the POW names designated by recent donors, so all the POWs will be honored with their fellow POWs. I will post those names in the next newsletter with a picture of the plaque. It is within days of being completed.

Flight Lt. Don Edy and F/Sgt. Ed Carter Edwards have been added to the RAF plaque in the museum after their recent passings, always to be remembered at Stalag Luft III.

Tribute Letter

Last month’s U.S. Congressional visit to SLIII garnered the following letters to Marek:

Remembering Polish Veterans

On September 1st, Marek organized the 78th anniversary of the invasion of Poland.

“The ceremony was held at the Stalag VIIIC Victims Memorial near the museum. After Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939, thousands of Poles became POWs. Many of them were sent to Stalag VIIIC Sagan. In Poland, September 1st is also National Veterans Day. Polish Army WW2 veteran Lt. Piotr Gubernator (93) was an honoured guest. The Mayor of Zagan, Mr. Daniel Marchewka, and the new Commander of 11th Armoured Division, Gen. Stanislaw Czosnek, attended the celebration.  Mr. Marchewka and veteran Lt. Gubernator gave speeches. After the ceremony all the guests visited new display.”


Lt. Gubernator and Marek                 Viewing the new room

Recently, the Polish Remembrance Institute released this brief but moving film of remembrance (Polish and English versions). It so clearly marks the struggles of Poland over the years.

National Reading Day in Poland

“We had a National Reading Day on Saturday, Sept. 2nd. The whole of Poland was reading the famous Polish drama, “The Wedding” (1901) by Stanislaw Wyspianski. The play was based on real-life event: a Krakow’s poet married a peasant girl. The plot is set at the wedding party which is the meeting of the two different social groups: intelligentsia and peasantry. The drama was shown multiple times on stage. It was also made into a movie by Oscar-winning Andrzej Wajda in 1972.

The National Reading Day was held directly under the auspices of the President of Poland.

The reading was organized on Zagan’s main plaza, and I was representing POW Camps Museum. I presented my acting skills as the “groom.” The role of the priest was read by one of Zagan’s Catholic priests. The mayor’s spokeswoman, Agnieszka Zychla, was the bride. Other roles were read by the Director of Zagan’s Public Library, teachers, a City Council member, the  Director of Zagan’s Public Transport Company, the Director of Zagan’s Cultural Centre,  and officers and NCOs of 11th Division etc.”

I asked Marek what the object was on the bale of hay:

“It is bread. When bride and groom are coming back from the church, they are welcomed and blessed by their parents with bread and salt–an old Polish tradition.”

September 10th, marked the Annual St. Michael Festival in Zagan with a parade on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, Marek organized free guided tours of the camp and museum for all the guests.

Folded Wings

 SLIII POW Robert J. Huels

Many will remember Mr. Huels from the Dayton Reunion. He kept a wonderful journal of his POW experiences and shared it with me. Condolences from the entire Stalag Luft III family.

Australian Visitors to the Camp – POW son, Warwick Thomas – AUS

Leaving Australia – Warwick and wife, Mary, with daughters,

Rosie and Lucy

Family in the replica hut

Warrant Officer Gwynne Pryce Thomas, RAAF, father of Australian, Warwick Thomas, passed away in July 1965. Due to losing his father at such a young age, it was an emotional visit back to Stalag Luft III for Warwick, where W/O Thomas had once been held prisoner.

In 1963, W/O Thomas was invited as a special guest at the premiere of the film, The Great Escape, in Melbourne.  He is pictured in the photos below. His son is still finding out more of his father’s story.

Middle row second from right – Stalag 383 – Hohenfels (near Nurnberg)

3rd from left – after liberation

Marek showed the family around the camp. They brought money W/O Thomas had brought back from the camp and also letters that Warwick’s mother sent to him when he was in the camp, some photos taken in the camp, and a newspaper article from the day of the premiere of the movie in Australia.

“I feel Gwynne is traveling with us,” said Mary of her father-in-law.

Von Lindeiner’s Secretary’s Daughter– Andrea Hatfield

Many will remember Andrea from the German panel at the SLIII reunion in Colorado Springs. For those who watched Hogan’s Heroes, Andrea’s mother, Lisa Knüppel, was the true “Helga,” Commandant von Lindeiner’s secretary. Lisa was also a censor in the camp.  I had the privilege of writing up Lisa’s story for the book Mike Eberhardt and I did on von Lindeiner. Lisa’s story is the stuff of movies.  At one point, Lisa bicycled the twelve miles to von Lindeiner’s manor house to help his wife, Barnoness Henriette van der Goes, pack up and flee from Germany. Marek located the bridge Lisa crossed and took pictures. Mike and I decided to present the pictures along with Lisa’s story to Andrea.

Lisa’s daughter, Andrea


Von Lindeiner Manor House

Two German roads led to a wide heavily-traveled bridge that in its day crossed the Golden River (Zlota Struga) in what is today Jaszkowa, Poland. The bridge was on the way to the country home of Stalag Luft III Commandant Friedrich von Lindeiner and his wife, Baronesse Henriette van der Goes, a Dutch aristocrat, living in the village of then Jeschkendorf, Germany. Close enough to the camp, the commandant could join his wife on weekends. Stalag Luft III censor, Lisa Knuppel, also von Lindeiner’s secretary, was often invited to join them.

The estate, glorious below the war torn skies, was about twelve miles from the camp and belonged to a von Lindeiner family relative. The commandant had a car, and Lisa either drove with him or rode her bicycle there. Sometimes she joined the von Lindeiners for dinner, after which, the commandant’s servant drove her back to the camp. Coming and going, she crossed the sturdy bridge.

On March 24, 1944, Lisa went to a movie with a young tank commander about to leave for the Front. To get back to the camp that fateful night, they descended the steps at the Sagan railroad station and walked over the tracks. The station held far more people than were normally there. The Great Escape had begun. The fate of Commandant von Lindeiner was sealed.

With head held high, and flanked by two officers, von Lindeiner was taken out of the camp. Lisa trailed behind him. Fearing the Gestapo, he commandant turned suddenly and tossed her his keys. “See to it that my wife gets out before the Russians come; try to see if you can get her to go to Frankfurt.” And then he was gone.

Greatly alarmed at the circumstances that were unfolding, Lisa left for the estate, racing across the bridge that fall day on her bicycle. She conveyed von Lindeiner’s words to his wife, emphasizing the need for her to get out before it was too late. Mrs. von Lindeiner was reluctant to leave her beautiful possessions. Lisa talked her into locking everything into an empty water tower or silo. Lisa got her to the train station, telling her that maybe later she could go back and claim her belongings. But the Russians soon occupied Jeschkendorf, and Mrs. von Lindeiner never returned.

The German people left the village in January 1945, and Jeschkendorf was never resettled by the Polish people. The village, like Stalag Luft III, was looted post-war by locals for building materials and by the government needing bricks to rebuild Warsaw. The beautiful estate disappeared.

The bridge stood for years, and the old foundation still stands solid after seven decades. A smaller new bridge rests on the original foundation and covers the shallow Zlota Struga as the bridge before it did. Lisa’s bridge stood as a silent witness to the drama that played out in Jeschkendorf in 1944. The road through the woods now leads to the small Polish village of Siodlo. The sky keeps no wartime memories, once written across the blue so many decades ago. The tales of war before that area of Germany became Poland disappeared like the wisps of vapor trails in the sky along with the story of a young woman who crossed the bridge in Jeschkendorf on her bicycle during the darkest days of the war on a mission of mercy.

Bridge to the Past

Bill Would Honor Local WWII Airman

Rep. Brad Drake, Florida House of Representatives, has introduced Bill # 109 to honor former SLIII POW 1st Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers, formerly of Walton County, by naming the stretch of U.S. 90/State Road 10, between State Road 285 and State Road 83 North, the “Lieutenant Ewart T. Sconiers Highway.”

Message from France

One of my father’s roommates at SLIII was Morris Jones. His nickname was “Available Jones.” Through the newsletter, his daughter found me and now through the newsletter, I have received an email from Jean Francis Carbonnet who lives near Normandy. He told me that Morris’s plane, also called “Available Jones” crashed next to his home during the war. I have put him in touch with Morris’s daughter so she can learn more.

B24s – Willow Run  Hugh Carter – U.S.

B-24 Liberator Willow Run Assembly Plant – YouTube

“Apparently, the factory sat empty for years after WW2 and is only recently being restored as a museum. Even so, only a small portion of it for historical purposes.

The long hanger at Willow Run, Michigan has a 90 degree turn in it so Henry Ford would not have to pay taxes in the next county.  That short end is being saved and restored today as a museum.  The big hanger doors are still operational after all these years.

This is one of the best and most informative clips about a great American accomplishment, thanks to the Ford Motor Company during WWII. 

Production began here 6 months BEFORE Pearl Harbor!  Henry Ford was determined that he could mass produce bombers just as he had cars, so he built the Willow Run assembly plant and proved it.  This was the world’s largest building under one roof at the time. One B-24 every 55 minutes — and Ford had its own pilots to test them!  And no recalls!”

Liberation Video – POW nephew, James Castle – UK

For those unfamiliar with Critical Past videos, they are well worth watching. There are several showing the liberation at Moosburg (no audio) of some of the 120,000 Allied POWs, and it seems some newer videos have been added. Thanks to James for sending this latest one.

There are also many interesting links grouped with this one. One I found was this one:

I had this picture of POW Russian generals at Stalag VII-A in Moosburg in my possession for years. It was taken on liberation day and shows them posing and enjoying their freedom. I see many of their faces in the video! Unfortunately, when they returned to the Soviet Union Stalin had them all shot.

New Stalag Luft III Book  –  POW son, Ric Martini – US

Thanks to Ric for this. Professor Ric Martini’s father was a SLIII POW who was also held at Buchenwald.  After years of research, he was able to find documents that contributed to the telling of his father’s story contrasted with the story of Werner von Braun. Stunning cover for this book and a sensitive and compelling story based on his impeccable research. Ric has published numerous books. See website below. He has graciously shared his extensive research on the current book with others who are seeking the documents he has found.

While the official government story has always been that no Allied POWs were held in German concentration camps, 168 Allied airmen were beaten, experimented on, and otherwise mistreated in Buchenwald, where the famous rocket scientist Wernher von Braun obtained slave labor for his V-2 factory, the Mittelwerk.

After the war, the US Army brought von Braun and his associates to America, as part of the ultra-secret Project Paperclip. The US government concealed von Braun’s wartime activities, and promoted an alternate history that sheltered him from prosecution for war crimes. This involved suppressing information about Buchenwald, Dora-Mittelbau, and the Mittelwerk. In the process, the records of the Buchenwald airmen were classified, and they would be inaccessible for decades. While the government was endorsing a fabricated history for von Braun, it treated the accounts of the Buchenwald airmen as delusions or attempts to obtain undeserved benefits from the VA.

The author didn’t intend to write a book about a massive government cover-up. He simply wanted to honor his father, Frederic C. Martini, an American airman who was shot down over occupied France in World War II and then imprisoned in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Over seven years of research, an even darker picture emerged: that an unconstrained military intelligence operation disrupted the lives of American ex-POWs.

Frederic H. Martini has published ten undergraduate textbooks on human anatomy and physiology, five of which won Textbook of the Year awards. He is also the author of Exploring Tropical Isles and Seas, which was a selection of the Book of the Month Club in 1984. However, Martini’s latest book, Betrayed, is especially dear to his heart. It is the story of his father—a POW in World War II—and a great historical wrong. Martini spent seven years securing declassified documents from archives in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany to reconstruct the events detailed in this book.

Martini received a doctorate from Cornell in 1974. Now retired from teaching, he still retains a research affiliation with the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is married with one son. He and his family split their time between Hawaii and New Zealand.

New Book Honors Pearl Harbor Heroes – Col. Charles Jones USMC Reserve/Ret. – US

December 7, 1941, the date of the attack on Oahu, Hawaii and Pearl Harbor, is one of the moments indelibly stamped into the collective American consciousness. The events of that day changed world history and brought the United States into World War II.

In this exhaustively researched historical chronicle, military historian Colonel Charles A. Jones, US Marine Corps Reserve (Retired), shares untold tales of bravery and fortitude in the Hawaiian Islands during World War II. He chronicles the horrors and heroism of war through the stories of the eighteen Medals of Honor (MOH) awarded to Navy and Marine officers and men. Fourteen were awarded for bravery during the Pearl Harbor attack. But that’s only one part of the story.

Jones also addresses MOHs awarded for bravery at Kaneohe Bay on December 7, Midway in 1942, and during rescue operations in the West Loch of Pearl Harbor in 1945. He includes the story of Billy Mitchell, who made incredibly accurate predictions about the Japanese attack on Oahu and who advocated the military importance of air power in warfare.

While Jones commemorates the heroism of the men who risked their lives to save others, he also argues that not every Medal was earned. His controversial stance challenges two of the three MOHs awarded to officers on the USS Arizona.

Colonel Charles A. Jones, US Marine Corps Reserve (Retired), is from Greensboro, North Carolina. He attended Oak Ridge Military Academy, Wake Forest University, and Campbell University School of Law. Jones joined the US Marine Corps in 1981. He earned a Regular commission and served on active duty as a lawyer in the Marine Corps. Jones left active duty in 1992 to research and to write military history. He joined the US Marine Corps Reserve in 1993. In 2011, Jones retired from the Reserve, completing a total of thirty years in the Regular and Reserve Marine Corps. Jones’s knowledge of Oahu and World War II led to his 2002 book, Hawaii’s World War II Military Sites. His work has appeared in many different magazines and newspapers. He is an expert on Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II and has given several classes and lectures about Iwo Jima and the Oahu attack.

New Book Honors Vietnam Soldiers – Jerry Whiting – US


After writing five books about WWII, author, Jerry Whiting, has turned his attention to the Vietnam Veterans.

This is Jerry Whiting’s sixth book. Born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota he moved to Pleasant Hill, California (San Francisco Bay Area) when he was in high school. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree at U.C.S.B. and later a Master’s degree at John F. Kennedy University. He worked as a counselor for a few years and then began a 25+ year career in law enforcement, working in a variety of assignments including patrol and the detective bureau. He was also a hostage/crisis negotiator during the last 15 years of his career. During this time he had the unique opportunity to work with several European police departments. In addition, he worked on a special project with the tribal police on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Jerry has always enjoyed investigating history, culminating in his first book, I’m Off To War, Mother, But I’ll Be Back. He ultimately took an early retirement to pursue his passion, resulting in other books, including Don’t Let the Blue Star Turn Gold, Veterans in the Mist, and Of Broad Stripes and Bright Stars. In addition, he published Missions by the Numbers, a group history of the 485th Bomb Group, a group that flew B-24 bombers out of Italy. Along the way he found the time to produce two documentaries, In the Shadow of Mt. Vulture and New Year’s At Ramitelli: A Safe Haven for Change. The Ramitelli documentary tells the story of a unique relationship between one American bomb group and the Tuskegee Airmen. All of his previous works are about WWII and are non-fiction. His interest began while researching his father’s story, resulting in that first book. He became the Historian for his father’s bomb group association and during the research for some of his books, while working with European researchers, he located crash sites in Europe that were previously undiscovered, some with remains of American servicemen. This information was shared with the Dept. of Defense, resulting in the recovery of remains. Several years ago Jerry was invited to the Pentagon to give a training seminar to Dept. of Defense investigators on the recovery of MIA’s. In March 2016 he co-hosted a conference in Krakow, Poland, which resulted in the gathering of some of the best European researchers with Dept. of Defense MIA investigators. Jerry is often called upon as a guest speaker and has spoken to groups in Germany, Italy and Poland, as well as in venues across the United States.

“The best place to get the book is on Amazon. It’s also available on Kindle. The price is $20 and it’s about 320 pages. I wanted everything in the book to honor those good Vets who faithfully served and who deserve to be honored. I wanted everything in the book to be representative of their service, including the title. The title painting was done by a combat artist whose story is in the book and the Forewords. Miss World 1969 wrote one of the Forewords. She entertained thousands of the men and women in Vietnam when she was on the 1969 Bob Hope Christmas tour.”

For Those Whose Fathers Were in Oflag 64 (Szubin) – POW daughter, Susanna Bolten Connaughton

Susanna has been a recent visitor to the camp where Marek showed her around. She is heavily involved in research and paying tribute to the Americans held in Oflag 64 (Szubin). See link below for more information. She would like to get in touch with others whose fathers were held at the camp in Szubin.


British Man Saved 669 Jewish Children – Colin Heaton – US

Spirit of ’75 – POW niece, Pamela Sconiers Whitelock – US

Did You Know? – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

Japan actually held U.S. territory for over one year in WWII—two Aleutian islands near Alaska.  1500 American soldiers were killed during the 13 months necessary to reclaim the islands.

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers







Stalag Luft III Newsletter – August 2017

 Stalag Luft III Newsletter – August 2017

 Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

 U.S. Congressional Group Visits SLIII

 On August 6, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a U.S. delegation consisting of five members of Congress, 3 family members, 2 members of their staff, and some people from the U.S. Embassy visited Marek. Representative Joe Wilson (Republican from South Carolina), Chairman of Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Madeleine Bordallo (Democrat from Guam), Ranking member of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative Paul Cook (Republican from California), Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Representative John Garamendi (Democrat from California), Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Representative Jackie Walorski (Republican from Indiana), Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Craig Collier, House Armed Services Committee Readiness Subcommittee, Majority Lead Staffer Mr. Brian Garrett, House Armed Services Committee Readiness Subcommittee Minority Lead Staffer, Colonel Warren Barlow, U.S. Embassy Warsaw, Office of Defense Cooperation, and Mr. Thomas Zia, Political and Economic Consul, U.S. Consulate General Krakow all toured the camp.

Guests arrive

Marek shows the guest the layout of the original camp.

New room display in the background

Marek answers many questions.

Posing by the exit of Tunnel Harry

L-R – John Garamendi, Jackie Warloski, Paul Cook,  Marek, Madeleine Bordallo, Joe Wilson

Madeleine Bordallo and Joe Wilson sign the guest book.

New Names on Plaques at the Museum

Next month’s newsletter will show the nearly-finished plaques of POW names from our last fundraiser!

 Artifact Theft

Readers might recall that Polish police, in 2016, arrested and convicted a thief at the Stalag Luft III Museum in Zagan, and that a thief was caught by U.S. Federal Agents just a few months ago involving the theft and eBay resale of Stalag Luft III related artifacts (dog tags) taken illegally from our own U.S. National Archives.  Also, for those of you who track eBay and social media sites, you have probably seen a number of offerings or claims of Stalag Luft III artifacts taken from the camp site. A relative of a POW, who has contacts with the FBI in Washington, D.C., decided to alert various embassy representatives of the nations whose airmen were held at Stalag Luft III.  I obtained a copy of that letter and thought it should be re-printed.

(Joint letter to American, Canadian, British and Australian Ambassadors to Poland, and the Polish Ambassador to the United States

Ambassador Paul Jones                                           Ambassador Stephen de Boer

U.S. Embassy                                                             Canadian Embassy

Aleje Ujazdowskie  29/31                                          ul. Jana Matejki   1/5

00-540 Warsaw, Poland                                            00-481  Warsaw, Poland

Ambassador Jonathon Knorr                                  Ambassador Paul  Wojciechowski

British Embassy                                                        Australian Embassy

  1. Kawalerii 12                                                         ul. Nowogrodska 11

00-468  Warsaw Poland                                            00-513  Warsaw Poland

Ambassador Piotr Wilczek

Polish Embassy

2640 16th Street

Washington, D.C.   20009

Dear Ambassadors:

Recent years have continued to see the plundering and theft of artifacts from historical sites, museums and archives around the world.  Recent occurrences at Auschwitz in Poland and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. underscore the seriousness of this problem.

In the case of the artifacts taken at Auschwitz, a leading Polish historian and Board Member of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, which investigates crimes relating to WWII, expressed his personal outrage and signaled more efforts to curtail what he called “shocking” conduct.

In the case of the National Archives, a historian was recently arrested for his theft of WWII artifacts from the Archives.  Following an arrest and search warrant executed by federal agents, he was found in possession of dog tags originally seized by the German Luftwaffe from captured U.S. airmen who were subsequently sent to prisoner of war camps, including Stalag Luft III, the site of the Great Escape in 1944.  This theft was discovered after the stolen dog tags were offered for sale on eBay which was being monitored by federal law enforcement.

I am the son of an American POW and my father was held at Stalag Luft III.  That camp site is commemorated by a wonderful museum in Zagan, Poland, dedicated to the airmen of many Allied nationalities—American, British, Canadian, Australian and Polish. The museum and camp site, which are largely supported by public funding in Poland, are visited each year by thousands of people from all over the world.  Unfortunately, this site — which covers many acres of land — has not been immune from thieves.  Over the recent years, eBay has seen numerous offers to sell artifacts from Stalag Luft III.  And, a Facebook page dedicated to Stalag Luft III recently had a post from an individual stating he had taken more than 400 artifacts from the Stalag Luft III site over three separate visits.  Given the camp size, its wooded character, and limited staff, catching these thieves has been nearly impossible.

While Polish law has specific penalties for theft in such situations (and indeed one individual was prosecuted recently for trying to break into the museum building), there clearly needs to be more enforcement to prosecute those who commit these thefts from the more remote sections of the camp.  While greater detection is needed at the camp site, there are actions that law enforcement organizations in various countries can take as well if they are alerted to eBay offerings (like in the stolen dog tag case), social media communications regarding artifacts, and to displays of SLIII artifacts at public events and reunions.  Confiscation of stolen artifacts should be a remedy, along with prosecution.  A copy of this letter is going to INTERPOL and the FBI to enable greater law enforcement sensitivity to this problem.

Finally, I am encouraging all the other stakeholders in the Stalag Luft III site, and particularly, sons, daughters and relatives of all POWs, to join me in supporting greater detection measures and reporting instances of theft.  As a former federal prosecutor and son of a Stalag Luft III prisoner, there are measures that can and should be taken. For example, a group of us with fathers held at Stalag Luft III will be offering written statements in support of the sentencing that results from the theft of the dog tags in the National Archives case. We will also be monitoring public offerings and displays more closely to alert law enforcement to make arrests and confiscations.  In addition, we will seek confiscation of stolen artifacts from those who buy them.

I hope that each of you can lend your support to maintaining the important integrity of the Stalag Luft III site.  Your strong encouragement to your respective national law enforcement organizations is certainly appreciated.

The Stalag Luft III Museum Director in Zagan, Poland is Marek Lazarz. His email is  Like me, he appreciates any assistance.

 Holmstrom Family Seeking I.D. of Two Sketches – POW daughter, Susan Holmstrom – U.S.

POW Carl Holmstrom was a very well know artist in the camp. His family holds the two sketches below that meant a lot to their father.  If anyone can identify them, they would appreciate it.

Folded Wings

Lt. Robert Fortnam – Condolences to the Fortnam family from the entire Stalag Luft III community.

 Letter of Commendation for Marek – POW niece, Gayle Brown – U.S.

TO BE SENT TO: Polish Embassy in Washington DC & the American Embassy in Warsaw.

“I am writing about the fine work being conducted at the Muzeum Obozów Jenieckich (Museum of P.O.W. Camps) in Zagan, Poland.

In July 2017, my wife and I (and other family members) visited this facility because my wife’s uncle, Mr. Alvin W. Vogtle, was an American POW Airman that spent most of his internment here between 1943 and 1945. Mr. Vogtle was known as “Sammy from Alabamy” in the camp, and he later became President of the Southern Company (a large electric utility) after the war. He wrote a summary of his time there and his various escapes immediately upon his return to the United States in 1945. This document is treasured by his extended family.

Mr. Marek Łazarz is the Director of the Museum. He and his staff treated us with the greatest respect and he personally spent 3.5 hours showing us the facilities and the work he and his staff and volunteers are doing there. We were very impressed with his leadership and passion for the mission of the museum. I was especially impressed with his efforts to conduct research digs at the site and the work to preserve the remains of the camp structures. The museum’s work to create and maintain a library containing information about each POW is outstanding as well. He has made a commendable effort to interact with not only Polish armor units stationed nearby, but an American armor brigade as well.

He is looking to make the museum more accessible for persons using wheelchairs. There is also a project for the restoration of a monument within the grounds that commemorates soldiers buried there during the Napoleonic Wars. We hope he gets support for those purposes.

Poland, and the city of Zagan are to be congratulated for honoring and preserving the memory of the American, British, Canadian, Polish, Czech, Norwegian, French, Belgian, Dutch, Australian, Lithuanian, New Zealand, South African, and Greek airmen that were kept as POWs there. It is a connection and a history that both Americans and Poles share.

Sincerely yours,

Steven Brown and Gayle B. Brown

Higher Resolution South Compound Sketch

Roster Stalag Luft IV

Many have asked about the Luftwaffe enlisted men’s camps, one being Stalag Luft IV where many of the SLIII officers’ gunners went. This website might be helpful in tracing them:

 Purple Heart Award

For those seeking the award and having proof of injury, please contact Dr. Gordon Sumner of the Military Order of the Purple Heart:

From: Gordon Sumner [] Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 3:51 PM Subject: Purple Heart Medal Review Process

The organization I belong to is the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).  Our website for anyone interested in learning more about us, the medal, and how to join the Order is:

Also, regarding authorization. The Medal was awarded by the US Air Force after being reviewed by the Department of the Air Force Review Boards Agency.  I only helped review the documents as from my past experience in helping veterans to be awarded a Purple Heart Medal I know fairly well what the Review Boards for the Military Services are needing to verify the award and make the recommendation that the Secretary of the Military Service award the Purple Heart Medal to the veteran.

I just wanted to make sure that the information is correct should others read the story and think that the MOPH awards Purple Heart Medals, which we don’t.

Gordon Sumner, PhD Home/Office:  703-455-4527

Cell:  703-595-8800

Gordon Sumner []

Any Familiar Faces?” – POW daughter, Sally Remington – US


If anyone sees a familiar please, please email me, and I will connect you with Sally.

1st Lt. Ellis J. Sanderson, her father, in the front and middle with hat on.

Newspaper article specifying how 1st Lt. Sanderson’s loss was revealed to his family.

Somber Anniversary – SLIII/Buchenwald POW Jim Stewart – (KLB78416) – Canada

“ Just a spot of trivia…. 15 August today, Tuesday, was also a Tuesday, 73 years ago,  in 1944….that unforgettable day when the goons shipped that last convoy of boxcars (90 to 100 in each} from Paris to Buchenwald in conditions that I have yet to find words to describe…….six days of pure hell!

Of those who arrived on 20 August, only 300 returned home out of 3,000: we allied airmen were lucky enough to have 166 out of 168.”


WWII POW Wants His $13 Back – John Lanza – US

SR-71 Pilot

If the link in the last newsletter for SR-71 Pilot – Brian Shul, did not work for you, try this one. Well worth watching:

USS Indianapolis Found After 72 Years – Joe Lawrence – US

Did You Know? – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

At the start of the war, the U.S. had 1000 military nurses; by the end of the war the total was 40,000.

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers