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





Stalag Luft III Newsletter – July 2017

 Stalag Luft III Newsletter – July, 2017

Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

POW John Pedevillano – Youngest Man in His Squadron Becomes Oldest Man to Receive a Purple Heart

After John’s son-in-law, Bill Vucci, received requested records from the archive in St. Louis, with the help of an archivist there, John was finally able to receive the prestigious award. John’s medical files supplied the needed proof of injuries sustained when he was shot down and on the march from Stalag Luft III.  Bill brought the documents to his father-in-law, and John’s daughter, Barbara Pedevillano, and Bill pointed out these were the medical documents needed as evidence to support the claim to pursue the Purple Heart. Barbara took them to her workplace, Walter Reed Hospital, to give to John’s doctor to verify his injuries. The evidence was then given to the Order of the Purple Heart for consideration and approval.

Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson, Commander, Air Force District of Washington, presented World War II Prisoner of War, 2nd Lt. John R. Pedevillano, with the award at a special ceremony at the Air Force Memorial, July 14, 2017. The general’s father had been a B-17 pilot during the war. According to the USAF, John is the oldest living WWII veteran ever to receive the award 72 years after the end of WWII.

Pedevillano, who turned 95 on July 19, 2017, was a bombardier on the B-17 “Miss Carriage.” As part of the 306th Bomb Group, he flew his fateful mission on April 24, 1944. His plane was shot down by German fighters, and he was captured by German soldiers and became a POW at Stalag Luft III.

Below is a link to the ceremony which has now been broadcast around the world.

Thank you to my son, John Walton, broadcaster for the Washington Capitals Hockey Team, for these pictures since he attended the ceremony in my place. He had arranged a salute to John at a Cap’s game last year.  John Pedevillano is a big fan of the Caps and listens to my son’s play-by-play of the games on the radio.  Being blind, he knows my son’s voice the instant he hears it. So it was a nice reunion surprise at the ceremony.



John with Major Gen. Jacobsen

The award

The general pins on the Purple Heart

The salute

Salute returned

John, with my son, John Walton

Talking with the press – Since the award, John has

received calls from all over the world.

Folded Wings – Richard Bedford – Bonnie Bedford White


P-47 pilot and SLIII and Buchenwald POW passed away early the morning of July 6th. Dick will be remembered fondly by all who attended the Dayton Reunion with his extended family. A kind and gentle man, he lived out his days surrounded by a large loving family. Condolences from the entire Stalag Luft III community to Dick’s family.

More Excavation in South Compound – Marek Lazarz – Poland

During the last month, Marek has been working hard excavating part of South Compound. A group of volunteers from the local Exploration Association, “Nadodrze,”  (Nadodrze means “area at the Oder River”) has been working with Marek. Initially, they all spent two days cleaning foundations of huts #135 and #134.

Marek and volunteers prepare to excavate the huts in South


Septic tank between Huts #134 and #135

Volunteers work on Hut #134


Hut #135

Marek: “As you remember, we did some GPR (ground penetrating radar) on hut #135 last year. We’ve found the tunnel. According to POW Mitch Cwiek’s drawing, the tunnel was discovered in February 1944. I decided to find the possible entrance of the tunnel. My first thought was the drain of the bathroom. We cleared it but found no traces of the possible tunneling. After we cleared the whole floor, I discovered a collapsed floor of the small room near the bathroom. It was the kitchen or small bathroom. they look similar. The whole big floor is fine except a small part that you can see in the picture below. The only reason to find such a collapsed area was that the entrance was there. By the way, TOM was built in the same spot of  hut #123 (North camp). Red arrow in the second picture below shows possible entrance of the Hut #135 tunnel.”

POW Mitchell Cwiek’s map of escape attempts in South Compound showing the location of those escape attempts and of the tunnels. Lower resolution copy with the two barracks numbers show below:

#135 “finds” are lined up at the edge of the excavated area.

Hut #134 finds:  From L-R: rims (for the bulb), junction

box and the socket—electric wire at the bottom

Hut #134 – wash basin cap

Hut #134 – Half of bombardier wings

Hut #134 – cigarette lighter

Hut #134 – soap box

Hut #134 switch

Hunt #134 – sink  tap

These are such interesting finds by Marek. I did a quick check for names of men who lived in those two huts, and some of the readers of this newsletter are related to many of them.

#134 –

Jack Schmidt

Paul Fauerso

William “Dusty” Runner

Bob Slane

Don Hillman

Col.  James Luper

Russell Reed

#135 –

John Embach

Martin Plocher

Mel McNickle

Hal Diamond

Frank Ronzio

Paul Gordy (Lt. Sconier’s friend)

Wilfred Boyle

Don Casey

William C. Connor

Carl Holmstrom

James Crouch


New Items Donated to the Museum

On her recent visit to the museum, Debbie Boyle donated precious items including three of her father’s hats:


Dog tag

    Bombardier wings




Lt. Wilfred Boyle wearing the hats

Challenge Coins – Marek

Marek has designed a collector’s “challenge coin” for the camp. He provided the history of such coins below

Marek: “Looks like the tradition started in Germany after the war. There is a military tradition to present the coin to the other person in very special way. The coin is hidden in your palm, and you present the coin while you are shaking the hand of the other person. The trick is then the other person should repay with the same. When the other person has no coin – you will get the beer instead.”

More from Col. Keeffe’s “Vault of Treasures” – POWs Visit the Camp in 1976 – POW son, Jim Keeffe III US

American POWs who accompanied Col. Spivey


Rare pictures taken inside the church in Halbau where Center Compound stayed along the march route in Jan. 1945:

Col. and Mrs. Spivey

Col. and  Mrs. Spivey lead the way.

German Guards, Willi and Franz

Marek sent these ID papers for the two guards, and we were curious as to what some of the words said. I asked my German friend, Ernie Hasenclever, to translate:


Willi’s blue card says:  10 Commandments as to the behavior of  German soldiers during war time. His uniform is lower rank  Air Force

#4   Refers to enemy PoWs

#5  Refers to the forbidden use of “Dum-Dum” bullets  —  (A method whereby the tip of the rifle bullet is filed off so that the bullet, upon hitting the target, will tilt sideways and thereby inflict terrible wounds.)

#8 Refers to respecting neutral countries

# 9 Refers to behavior when taken PoW. ( pretty standard for all nations )


Personal ID card for a fellow born in Wien (Vienna).  However, he was at the time considered a German national .

Recent Dedication of Bushell/Scheidhauer Memorial  – Ingo Hauck – Germany

On July 1, near the Ramstein Airbase in Germany, a memorial stone for Squadron Leader Roger Bushell (Royal Air Force), the Mastermind of The Great Escape, and his escape partner, Sous Lieutenant Bernard Scheidhauer (sub lt.) (Free French Air Force) was unveiled by the niece of Roger Bushell and the great niece of Bernard Scheidhauer.

By invitation of Air Marshal Stuart Evens and Wing Commander Alan Jones, Ingo attended. The Royal Air Force, the French Air Force, the US Air Force, and the German Luftwaffe attended to pay tribute to the brave men. After an opening prayer, the British and French National Anthems were played, and flowers were placed at the memorial stone by the family and Air Forces that attended.

The following is the memorial’s inscription:

On 24 March 1944, 76 Allied Airmen escaped from Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp at Żagań, Poland. Near this spot, on 29 March 1944 the Gestapo executed two of the airmen who took a part in this ‘Great Escape’. They were the Escape´s mastermind Squadron Leader Roger Bushell (Royal Air Force) and Sous-Lieutenant Bernard Scheidhauer (Free French Air Force). Having made it as far as Saarbücken, Germany, they were arrested on 26 March and interrogated. On 29 March, the prisoners, on the pretext of returning to their prison camp, were driven to a bridge near this spot and shot. Throughout the following days, on the direct orders of Adolf Hitler, a further 48 of their fellow escapees were executed.

The memorial was funded by: RAF Community Ramstein (2017), 92 Squadron Association (RAF), The RAF Historical Society, Le Souvenir Francais, and After the Battle Magazine. At the remains of the concrete bridge that research suggests is where the executions took place, one of the concrete blocks is adorned by another memorial plaque. Only the research of Dr. Silvano Wüschner make this project possible after he found the place of the executions.

See this link on dr. Wüschner’s website for more information:

Pictures below by Thomas Tiltman

Caroline Kennard, niece of Roger Bushell  – (Her mother was his sister.)

RAF representatives on the left and French on the right. Two Luftwaffe

representatives are on the far on the right and two are on the far left.

The great niece of Bernard Scheidhauer is on the left.

Crematorium in Saarbücken where the men were cremated

Handling Red Cross Parcels

Marek has found some old pictures taken at Stalag Luft I, Barth, the alternative Luftwaffe camp for Allied Airmen.  RAF POW Alfie Fripp worked in the Red Cross parcels distribution center at Barth, and he continued the same job in Stalag Luft 3. (Fripp is fourth from the left in the first picture below.)

Germans and POWs take charge of the parcels.

Marek: “I think the German is examining contents of the parcel. Standard procedure. They knew that they were being photographed so they are posing I think and pretending doing something .”

Germans with Fripp and fellow POWs

Program from North Compound “Excerpts from the Messiah” Presentation – POW son, Mike Netherway – AU

The faded program below belonged to Mike’s father RAAF 409580, SL3 2627, Len Netherway, who sang in the choir.

“He’s listed tenth of the thirteen First Tenors from “Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah” on page four of the program – Dad said that there were no guards posted and that the commandant was in tears and was quite speechless after the concert. I think he [Mike’s father] was quite proud that he’d been part of the whole show. He used to sing at local concerts, receptions etc. before the war but after, he kept his voice for the church choir, eventually stopping in the mid- sixties.”

[Photoshop enhancement did not work on the document.

Also from Mike – Celebration of ANZAC Day in the camp:


                                                     Australian POWs at SLIII

I have previously posted this list below, (further down in this newsletter) and also the Fordyce cartoons. Mike and POW daughter, Barb Edy, both worked at correct spelling of names, but I wanted to include the list again for the many new readers from Australia so they could see the cartoons, and also hopefully  correct more names on the list for #119.

The Men in Hut 19 – North Compound.  From Mike: “Corrections so far: Rice is really John “Jock” Bryce.  In Room 15, the Blake Petersen is most likely Peter Bjelke Petersen. Room 15 – Buckinsdale should read Clayton Beckinsale.

Szymon’s Tour – Visit to Stalag Luft III

POW Col. James Keeffe’s daughter, Kerry, recently went on Szymon Serwatka’s tour, which included Stalag Luft III. Szymon is an early member of “Ewart’s Army” helping to locate Lt. Ewart Sconiers.

“We had a wonderful time and Szymon is a fantastic guide. We got to see some places that most tourists would not see. He has various friends who have their own museums of Polish and WWII things. One is dedicated to the 15th Army Air Force. They also continue to look for lost downed planes and airmen. I highly recommend his trips to anyone.”


Finding her Father’s Name on the Flag – Col. James Keeffe

Kerry with Marek

Hunting for the correct barracks










Kerry with Mirek  Barracks #43 Center

POW son, Dick Olsen, and his wife also went on the tour and sent pictures:

North’s fire pool

West Compound’s fire pool

Dick: “I added the fire pool pictures to show the difference between the North and West compound pools.  North has some really nice brick work but West is concrete.”

Dick and Kathy Olsen sitting on the foundation of West’s theatre

Dick and tour leader, Szymon, at West #163, where Dick’s father lived.

The memorial the RAF POWs built to honor The Fifty. It is always adorned with remembrances visitors leave.

West Compound Barracks Numbers

For anyone seeking the number of their West Compound father’s barracks, be aware that some records fail to add the “one” at the beginning of the number designation. West Compound barracks numbers were all three digit. They started at 157 and ended with 173.

Wendover Field – Utah  POW daughter, Diane Stamp – U.S.

Thanks to my sister who recently visited Wendover Field in Utah where our father trained as a bombardier.

Bombardier training

The pool


The base was well hidden, surrounded by mountains.

The Enola Gay was also taken to this base.

Control Tower

Officer’s Club

B 24 hanger

Dilapidated barracks

SLIII Cartoons  – POW son, Mike Maxwell – AU

From the pages of Mike’s father’s Log Book:”  This cartoon by Bill Fordyce of dad doing “stooge” duty in the kitchen of their hut.”

Below is another Fordyce cartoons. Note the clever signature of the POW artist.

From a Center Compound POW diary: March Route for Center Compound

Left Stalag Luft III – 4am Sunday, Jan. 28, 1945 Arrived Halbau (Lutheran Church) – evening Sunday, Jan. 28 (??km) Left Halbau – Monday, Jan. 29 Arrived Freiwaldau – 4:30pm Monday, Jan. 29  (14 km) Left Freiwaldau – Wednesday, Jan. 31 Arrived Muskau (pottery factory) – evening Wednesday, Jan. 31 (34km) Left Muskau – Saturday, Feb. 3 Arrived at Graustein – Saturday, Feb. 3 (20km) Arrived at Spremberg – Sunday, Feb. 4 (7km) Left Spremberg – Sunday, Feb. 4 Arrived Stalag VII A – Wednesday evening, Feb. 7 Stalag VII A Snake Pit – Feb, 8,9,10 Stalag VII A moved to perm location in camp – Sunday, Feb, 11

Video of Recovered Tulsamerican B-24 off the Coast of Croatia – POW niece, Pam Whitelock – US

DPAA that worked with the Lt. Sconiers case is also working with the Croatian Government on this fascinating case of the Tulsamerican recovery off the coast of Croatia’s Vis Island in the Adriatic Sea. The B-24 is pretty famous as it was the last one to roll off the production line in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the war and was funded by the workers, so it was appropriately named the Tulsamerican.

Divers have recently located human bones near the wreckage. The plane was hit after a bombing run over German-occupied Poland. It crashed into the Adriatic Sea on Dec. 17, 1944. The crew apparently tried to get the plane back to its base in Italy, but they eventually decided to ditch it in the Adriatic. The wreckage itself was found at the bottom of the sea at a depth of some 40 meters (130 feet) near the island of Vis in 2010 after a 17-year search. Three members of the 10-man crew were killed in the crash. The U.S. is still looking for some 200 Americans who perished in Croatia during WWII. An effort to recover and return pieces of the wreckage to Oklahoma for display at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum has been underway for several years.

See link to some interesting and haunting undersea footage.

Standing Guard POW daughter, Carolyn Clark Miller –  US

This picture was taken at the Fort Snell National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN, on a June morning . The eagle had landed on the grave of Sgt. Maurice Ruch, who had been a member of the St. Anthony Kiwanis Club. Maurice graduated from college in mechanical engineering in December of 1941 and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Known for his keen eye, he became a rifle marksman and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands. He served four years in the military and earned a bronze star

Links –

SR-71 Pilot – Ross Greene – US

Excellent and humorous

Salute to Vets Ad – POW nephew, Ross Greene – US v=yzMSzLkOkJA

 Model Airplane – Concorde and 747 – Joe Lawrence – US

Doolittle Raider Ross Greening’s Art – Tom Colones – US

Interesting story from Stalag Luft I – the alternative officer’s camp  (thanks to

POW Jerry Sage

The most likely American model for the Cooler King in the Great Escape movie, Sage was known as, “Silent Death” at SLIII. Gen. Clark appointed him to train a handful of POWs on how to kill silently if the German guards every turned against the POWs. Jerry was a member of the OSS caught behind enemy lines, passing himself off as a member of the Air Corps. He was eventually thrown out of SLIII for his “bad behavior.”

Did You Know ? POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

During WWII, the U.S. provided enough food aid to Russia to keep 6 million people fed through the war.

And a Bonus Did You Know from Marek:

In 1945, the total number of Poles in the RAF was about 17,000 men.

Poles were the biggest group of the foreigners in the Battle of Britain – 145.

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers

Stalag Luft III Newsletter – June 2017


Stalag Luft III Newsletter – June, 2017

 Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

The new room is finished!  Marek has completed the building of the replica room which now sits inside the museum at the camp. He has been successful in searching for artifacts that are original and would have been used in the camp.

keintrinkwasser pitcher on the left

KLIM cans and original record player

The portrait of P/O Robert M. Buckham made by Polish POW Kazimierz Zakrzewski-Rucinski hangs on the wall. Marek received the scans of his works from his daughter Helena Zakrzewska-Rucinska and then made a high quality reprint on canvas.

The view from the window is South Compound, a street named Stillman Strasse that Lt. Col. Robert “Moose” Stillman created. As a POW, he got to work creating a main street in South Compound, where it had been previously difficult to walk. With a small crew of workers, he dug out an area and cleared it and then filled in the holes to create, “Stillman Strasse” [Stillman Street] making life just a little easier for the prisoners who now walked instead of flew.

The plaque below hangs by the room to thank all of you who donated to the room’s development and construction. Your funding enabled Marek to construct the room and to purchase the artifacts that make it so authentic. The names of POWs associated with these families will soon be placed on the POW plaque, as well, and he will send photos of that plaque to the families. Beautiful work, Marek!

Plaque for the new room – thank you donors!


Marek’s letter explaining how he came up with the idea for the new room is below:

New Guitar and POW Camp Sagan

Marek recently purchased a guitar for the museum made by a French POW formerly in Kriegsgefangenenlager Sagan (POW Camp Sagan), a WW1 camp that existed in Sagan from 1914 until 1920 when it was dismantled. This is where the museum sits today. The guitar was made in 1915! The self-made guitar was constructed by Auguste Naranowski, a French POW of Polish descent.

“A musical instruments collector from Warsaw contacted us after he discovered that the guitar was made in POW Camp in Sagan during WW2.”

Below, are two pictures of the general view of WW1 POW Camp Sagan. It was built on the so-called “excercise place” – the Army training field of the German Field Artillery Regiment from Sagan. The camp held Russian and French POWs during WW1. In 1939, Stalag VIIIC was built on the same spot.

Name on the guitar

Marek’s Incredible Co-incidence:

Satisfying the requirement for the U.S. Air Force Academy’s research grant to Marek last summer, he has now written about the American men who flew in the Eagle Squadrons during the war, getting into the war early flying with the RAF.

“The man who is helping me to build the POW room is a good friend of the museum. He donated several items. He is a president of the local historical association, and he is owner of the construction/plumbing company. He is currently restoring a private house in Zagan. The owner of the house is a local collector, and he has a small collection of dog tags and buttons. He found them years ago somewhere near the camp. My friend saw the collection and told me about it. I asked him to take a pictures of the dog tags (I need the POW numbers for my archive.). The collector just gave the dog tags to my friend, and my friend brought them to the museum. Dog tags are from Stalag VIIIE Neuhammer (20 km from Zagan), but one is a US Army service dog tag and belonged to George Carpenter! Carpenter was No. 121 Eagle Squadron and in 1942 was transferred to USAAF 335 Fighter Group. He was shot down in April 1944 and was held in West Compound. What a find! I will put it in my article. Today was the last chance to do it as the periodical is almost finished.

Carpenter’s dog tag – no explanation as to how it got left behind in the camp

Read about Carpenter here:

Lt.  Ewart T. Sconiers

Following up on Lt. Sconiers, our Belgian friend and member of “Ewart’s Army,” Ed Reniere, visited Henri-Chapelle, the American Military Cemetery in Belgium. It is at this cemetery where Lt. Sconiers’ name is engraved on the Wall of the Missing. Traditionally, when one of the men who was missing is found a stone rosette is placed next to that name. Ed was there for Memorial Day to see that rosette, and he has sent the following pictures which were taken by Patrick Demaison.

Ed standing as the Wall of the Missing paying tribute to Lt. Sconiers on Memorial Day. He points to the new rosette.

Ed’s floral tribute

Visitors to the cemetery that day came up to read Ed’s words. The four flags on the panel Ed made, below, represent the four countries that ended up participating in Lt. Sconiers’ recovery.

[graphics would not copy from original newsletter]




1st Lt Ewart Theodore SCONIERS Bombardier – 97th Bomb Group/414th Bomb Squadron


Born 29 November 1915, DeFuniak Springs, Florida

Died as a Prisoner of War – 24 January 1944, Lubin, Poland


… After 73 long years, finally recovered and

brought home thanks to the efforts

of the DPMO / DPAA.

In name of the SCONIERS and HARRELL families and of “Ewart’s Army

MEMORIAL DAY – 27 May 2017



Ed:  “I attended the Memorial Day ceremonies yesterday at two American cemeteries. The first event was at the Ardennes one in Neupré, the one in the afternoon was at Henri-Chapelle. I was at the cemetery long before the ceremony began and put flowers and paid my respects to Ewart. I was particularly moved seeing and touching the rosette that has been applied recently next to his name on the Walls of the Missing there. Afterward, many people, Belgians and Americans, looked at the flowers and the small panel. Some took pictures, and I could tell part of the fantastic story to a few of them. I had mixed feelings standing there at the foot of the wall. Emotion. Respect. Gratitude. A joy tinged with sadness. Thinking of all of you and those watching us from above, with a certain pride of what the global team has achieved in this very special journey.”

We hope Ed will be able to join us at the funeral in Florida next January.

 Sconiers’ Trip Home – POW niece – Pamela Sconiers Whitelock

It was a poignant moment for Pam and all of us seeing the picture below of her uncle being brought home from Poland through Germany to Offutt AFB for DNA testing. Delta, with great respect, flew him back to the U.S. with his army escort, the pilot announcing the WWII POW’s remains were on board.  See Pam’s words below for everyone reading this newsletter:

Delta ceremony honoring Sconiers


Sconiers’ proud escort from Europe

Pam: “We hope you will help spread the word about the fundraiser to support the “promise keepers” of Lt. Sconiers’ recovery.  Please use your social media platforms, email distribution lists, word of mouth, etc. to share the link.”

Children’s Day in the Camp

Marek: “On 1st June, we had a big event at the museum–actually two events in one– International Children’s Day and also attendance by the 11th Repair Battalion from Zagan. The soldiers organized a big display of their equipment for the local kids: tanks, heavy trucks and recovery vehicles. There was also a special military ceremony to honor Battalions Day. Several soldiers were promoted or awarded for their service. It was great publicity for the museum as well. I organized several guided tours during the whole day.”

                            Polish Battalion

Story of a Stalag VIIIC Guardgrandson, Heinz Kahan

Through the newsletter, I was contacted by the grandson of a German guard trying to find out which camp his grandfather had been assigned. Marek was able to determine it was Stalag VIIIC that sat next to Stalag Luft III.

 “Back in the ’60s, my mother told stories of her father (my grandfather) part of Landesschützen Btln 314 being guard at ‘a prisoner of war camp’ and him taking extra food to the prisoners in the pockets of his uniform to Frenchmen and Russians. Her village was Kunzendorf about 5 miles NW of Luft III. I have searched archives, and his unit was, indeed, assigned to prisoner camp duty there. Are there any stories like his that have been saved in your archives?

 His name was Günther Czernotzky. He was already 40 at the time. He died in March 1945. The front had moved through Kunzendorf in Feb., and he along with two others ended up behind the lines. He knew the area well and held up in a brick factory outside of town. They managed for a couple weeks by sneaking into town at night to get food from his family. His plan was to ride out the next few weeks until the war was over. Someone in town told the Russians. They sent soldiers out to the brick factory. They ran in three directions, 2 of the 3 being killed. The lone survivor told the family later what had happened. He [Heinz’s grandfather] was not found until spring 1946.The Russians had setup a supply/ammunition depot outside of town, and the road leading to it was off limits.

When they closed the depot in 1946, the road re-opened, and a man saw a roadside make-shift grave. My mom and great-grandmother (his mother) went along with some men to see if it was him. Not much was left after a year.His mother identified him by his gold tooth and the tatters of the sweater he was wearing which she had knitted for him.

My mother did the same stretch to Spremberg in a civilian trek. Kunzendorf – Sorau – Triebel – Bad Muskau – Spremberg About 25 miles, like I wrote earlier, Kunzendorf was only 3-4 miles west of Luft III. She likely walked in the steps of your father a month later. I am now the keeper of the Erkennungsmarke (dog tag).

Günther’s German dog tag

If anyone has information on Gunther, his unit, etc., I can put you in touch with Heinz.

POW Bill Styles Silk Map Comes Home to his Daughter – POW daughter, Linda Berkery, US

Following up the story of Linda’s quest to find the fisherman who picked up her shot down father in Denmark, she just received the silk map her father gave to that fisherman. Until she found contacts in Denmark, Linda had no idea the silk escape maps had been given.

The note accompanying the silk map:

Dear Linda,  

Hereby the legendary and beautiful scarf. 

 Note after she thanked him:

 Hi Linda,

 I am so glad to convey the scarf to you it got its last oversees travel back home . Best regards,



Linda, pleased to have “part of her father” back

SLIII POW Bill Styles’ story has gotten lots of publicity lately both in Troy, NY, for Memorial Day and also in newspapers in Denmark where he was shot down and rescued from the North Sea. The City of Troy hung a special banner to pay tribute to him.


Below is the article in the Troy newspaper:


“My father’s Memorial Banner is now hanging in our local hometown of Troy, NY. (Home of Uncle Sam!) They put up all the banners this week, and Dad’s was the first – his banner is fittingly located out front of a German Bier Garden – which used to be called “Bombers” – A good spot for a POW B-17 pilot- he is flying high! Our family plans to go down and toast Dad with a German beer on Monday afternoon. Now that’s a new Memorial Day tradition for us.”

The Danish flag accompanies the American flag this year.

Bill Styles’ Rainbow Story


Bill’s touching letter to his wife:

 Linda also came across the YMCA letter below and sent it to Marek for explanation:

“There are several addresses of the YMCA offices at the bottom including German–Berlin. The letter was written in late August 1943. Just a few days later, in early September, Berlin was bombed, and the YMCA headquarters for Germany was evacuated to Sagan. I’ve never seen that kind of letter, very interesting. I only saw the reports written by YMCA representatives (including Henry Soderberg.

More Visitors for Marek – POW, daughter, Deborah Anderson – US

Deb and her son, Erik Anderson, recently visited the old camp to locate the hut of her father, Lt. Wilfred Boyle:

Deborah and Marek

Deborah’s son, Erik

“Other pictures were taken at the site of my father’s hut #135 where one of the tunnels was located in the South Compound. The other tunnel that Marek located was from hut #137 where my friend, Allister Carlson Webster’s father, lived (last picture ).”

Hut #135

Hut #137

Jim’s Training Accident – SLIII POW Jim Stewart – Canada

“Cannot be certain but believe this was my first landing on HMS Argus, 24 Feb. 1943! No self-centering wires back then and “batsman” landed me with drift….that’s my story. Just another one of my foolish experiences! Google CAM ships and MAC ships through Wikipedia for fascinating picture of how little we had back then to eventually win “Battle of Atlantic. It always was a one way ticket on the CAM Ships, ditch or bail out, but in 1942 and 1943 the MAC ships were coming into service and, with the remote chance that one might be available, we practiced all sorts of Dummy Deck Landings on the runway at Speke and actual landings with Royal Navy on Firth of Clyde.  The carrier was supposed to be moving directly into the wind, but a crosswind meant you were slipping to the side at point of landing, “drift.” Me and my gremlins…….only my pride was hurt!  They just got me another aircraft and after that, I made 3 successful landings. Most disappointed that Hitler did not award me an Iron Cross.  After all, German losses, 1 Focke-Wulf 200 destroyed; compared to my British, one Hurricane destroyed, one damaged; two Typhoons destroyed.  Hardly cost effective!”



Copies of Our Books Available Again

Information on the books:

100% of the proceeds go to the museum.

Mike Eberhardt and I supply the museum in Zagan with our two books with all proceeds going to the museum. Marek has told us he just sold the last two copies of the von Lindeiner book to Zagan’s Military Police unit who bought them (with some other items from the gift shop) as souvenirs for their counterparts from the US and Czech Republic who all will visit Marek at the museum. Mike has discounted copies again of both books, From Interrogation to Liberation, and From Commandant to Captive—the Memoirs of Commandant of SLIII Col. Friedrich von Lindeiner.  Contact Mike at:

Memorial Day – POW son, Alan Hopewell – US

For 142 years, Americans have taken the last Monday in May to remember those who have died in our wars. Like all deaths honored by the state, flags fly at half-staff.

However, on Memorial Day, the U.S. flag only flies at half-staff for the first half of the day, and then is raised to full height from noon to sundown. This unique custom honors the war dead for the morning, and living veterans for the rest of the day.

No one knows the exact date this tradition began, but an Army regulations book from 1906 carries instructions for the procedure, so it predates the 20th Century, said Clark Rogers, executive director of the National Flag Foundation. In 1924, Congress codified the tradition into U.S. Code Title 4, Section 6, with the proclamation, “For the nation lives, and the flag is a symbol of illumination,” explaining how the noon flag-raising symbolizes the persistence of the nation in the face of loss, Rogers told Life’s Little Mysteries.

“The first part of the day honors those who sacrificed, and the second part of the day honors those who are still with us,” Rogers said.

Also, if you experience difficulty from your HOA flying our nation’s flag, the federal law of 2005 provides that owners of residential property have the right to fly our nation’s flag.  Some HOAs have tried to target a “flagpole” as a violation of HOA rules as a means to skirt the issue, but court cases have ruled against HOAs for this interpretation, stating that a pole is necessary to fly a flag, which is protected by federal law.  There are also some states that specifically prohibit HOAs from attempting to restrict property owners from flying our nation’s flag; Florida is one such state.

Col. Keeffe’s Filing Cabinet – POW son, Jim Keeffe, III – US

35th Stalag Luft III Reunion – Jim has come across the program from the 35th reunion which shows some of the names of very prominent POWs in the camp. The program has humor and is very clever. Some might remember many of these names:

                 Cover page

Inside cover page

Cartoons from POW camp Artist Joe Boyle were also featured:


POW Joe Boyle’s cartoon

Sketch of Hut – POW nephew, Hugh Carter – US

“Attached is an actual sketch made by Steve Pritz, my Uncle John’s cooking partner in Stalag Luft III. He was an artist and did many sketches while in POW camp. This is only one that survived as he tore it out of his sketch pad as they headed out the door for Spremberg and Moosburg. These are John’s own words from ‘Pilot Missing…’ A shame the entire sketch pad did not survive.”

            “Steve was good enough to provide a drawing of Combine 3 he made while in Stalag Luft III “ –  Steve relates:

“I tore this out of my ‘drawing book’ just before we started our forced march from Stalag Luft III as the Russians were moving in on Berlin. It was sudden departure to the unknown and we took only what each of us considered extremely usable for self survival! The drawing book did not fit in with our ultimate objective!! The drawing does not show all of the two tier bunks that outlined the actual size of the combine. There was only one layer of floor boards with cracks between. In the winter, we had cold air blowing in from underneath the building. I really don’t know why I kept it, along with my POW dog tags, POW spoon and knife, etc.! But it is here somewhere for my grandchildren to find sometime in the unknown future. We were housed in Barracks No. 43 in the Center Compound.”


Because We Flew – SLIII POW Leonard Spivey – US

 Because We Flew

Once the wings go on, they never come off whether they can be seen or not. It fuses to the soul through adversity, fear and adrenaline, and no one who has ever worn them with pride, integrity and guts can ever sleep through the call of the wild that wafts through bedroom windows in the deep of the night.

When a good flyer leaves the job and retires, many are jealous, some are pleased and yet others, who may have already retired, wonder. We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times. We know in the world of flying, there is a fellowship which lasts long after the flight suits are hung up in the back of the closet. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.

Because we flew, we envy no man on earth.

~Author Unknown


POW and Boy Who Turned Him in Reunited after 50 Years – Dr. Susann Meinl – Germany

 Pearl Harbor and D Day Documentaries – Tom Colones – US

Tom with DVD covers

Over the years, Tom, a friend of Stalag Luft III, has filmed some incredible documentaries. Below are some of the most recent ones.

 All the excellent films the foundation produces are available on this link:

 Thomas Colones []

WSPA TV – CBS – Spartanburg, S.C.

Plaque for Roger Bushell Dedicated

[Please note the error that the camp was “in Nazi-occupied Poland.” The camp was in Germany and that area was given to Poland after the war in war reparations.  MW]

Why We Fly – Joe Lawrence – US

Raising the Hunley – 19th Century Submarine – POW nephew, Hugh Carter – U.S.

Ground Version of Honor Flight – POW son-in-law, Bill Vucci – US

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

The number of lost planes in WWII:  U.S. 94,000, Russia 106,000 and Germany 76,000.

POW Humor

I leave you with a poem from Stalag Luft III:


Last night I held a lovely hand A hand so soft and neat I thought my heart would burst with joy So wildly did it beat No other hand unto my heart Could greater solace bring Than that dear hand I held last night Four Aces and a King.

Author Unknown

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers




Stalag Luft III Newsletter – May, 2017



Stalag Luft III Newsletter – May, 2017


Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

There are many stories to report this month, one involving my co-author, Mike Eberhardt, and his recent return to Germany to his father’s crash site.

 From Poland, Marek has notified me that within about ten days the new room he has constructed in the museum, a replica of a typical POW room,  will be complete. He has designed special thank you cards for donors and with each he will include a picture of the finished room. Shortly after that, all the donors’ names will go on a plaque he has specially designed to hang in the new room, and POW names will go on a separate plaque.

 Other News from Marek

Stalag Luft III had well-stocked libraries in each compound. Marek is in the process of collecting authentic books to simulate what was there at one time.

“We bought this book recently. It is from the No. 1 Library of POW Camp Oflag II D. The book was sent to the camp by the Polish section of the YMCA (see stamp). Oflag IID was in Gross Born (Borne Sulinowo today, Northern Poland). Many Polish officers (Army) were held there.


 Newest book

“Here is my personal find. I found it at the hut 137 (South Camp) Stalag Luft III. Actually, it was with the help of wild boars in the camp who disturbed the surface around hut 137. There were many POWs in Zagan wearing non-SL3 dog tags.” 

M-Stammlager (Stalag) XIIIC is stamped into the dog tag, and that camp was in Hammelburg, Bavaria. Apparently, the dog tag belonged to one of the USAAF NCOs who served as orderlies in the officer’s compound at Stalag XIIIC, the camp where Gen. Patton’s son-in-law was a POW and was later injured during an attempted rescue by Patton’s forces. According to Marek, the man who owned the dog tag either volunteered or was transferred to Stalag Luft III to again serve as an orderly.

Rare Buchenwald Currency at the Museum –  This 2 Reichmark banknote belonged to a Polish prisoner.

In 2004, Tunnel “Dick” in North Compound, was excavated by a British team. They found some artifacts now displayed in the replica hut #104, constructed by the British. Below is the trap door of “Dick.” The entrance of “Dick” was inside the drain of the shower room of hut #122. 

   Trap door

American Visits Marek – Kevin Pearson – U.S.

 A research friend of mine for years, Kevin, is an expert at identifying B-17 parts and has travelled to many WWII historically-significant places in Europe, sending me pictures. He has also excavated a B-17 in Germany. Recently, he visited Stalag Luft III.

 Marek and Kevin at Tunnel Harry

After visiting Stalag Luft III, Kevin went on to the cemetery in Poznan to see the grave markers of the 50 murdered POWs after the Great Escape. Their ashes were moved from the camp to Poznan after the war. Below are Kevin’s pictures taken at the cemetery of the grave markers.

  Remembering the 50

Stone marking the ashes of Roger Bushell,

mastermind of the Great Escape

German Town Commemorates Three B-17 Crew Members Killed in March 1944POW son, Mike Eberhardt

Two years ago, with the assistance of some German researchers armed with only one vague clue, Mike was able to discover and then visit the crash site of his father’s B-17 (“Little Audrey”) which crashed on March 18, 1944, outside Munich, near a small town named Aschheim. His 2015 visit included a personal meeting with a man, who as a thirteen year old, witnessed the crash, which resulted from another B-17 (out of formation) dropping a bomb on the plane in which Lt. Charles Eberhardt served as bombardier. Following the 2015 crash site visit, Mike also recovered pieces of his father’s B-17 with the help of the German researchers who scanned the site with metal detectors.

 While seven of the crew parachuted and survived (three of whom, including Lt. Eberhardt, being aided by local German farmers before being turned over to SS troops), those who perished included Sgt. Vincent Mellina, Sgt. James Schmitt, and Sgt. Franklin Baier.

 On April 23, 2017, at the invitation of the Aschheim Veterans Group, Mike returned to the crash site where the three deceased crew members were honored in a ceremony. The event was attended by a large number of local citizens, Mike’s researchers, the mayor of Aschheim, and the president of the Aschheim Veterans Group, both of whom delivered moving speeches. A bugler played while a canon was fired, and Mike was honored with an opportunity to be photographed standing behind makeshift crosses from which photos of the three deceased crew members hung.  In the photo below, Mike is flanked by the eyewitness he met two years ago, and another eyewitness discovered since his initial visit.

 Mike also visited the local Catholic Church where, in the courtyard, the three were buried by the citizens of Aschheim until their bodies were recovered and moved to national cemeteries after the war.

 Mike was made a member of the Aschheim Veterans Group.  The ceremony was covered by the Munich newspaper which featured a photo of the crew.  A large dinner, with lots of beer, concluded the eventful day!

 [Some pictures below were sent by Dr. Susanne Meinl who lives near Munich and also attended.]


                       Lt. Charles Eberhardt’s Stalag Luft III ID card



The Germans greet Mike (middle of photo) in front of the Town Hall.



         The tree at the right is one Mike’s father would have

         seen. It was the landmark the Germans used to

         determine where the plane crashed.


Remembering one of the crew, KIA that day


 Mike, second from right


Mike is flanked by two eyewitnesses who said they went to the

B-17 that day to steal a bag of uniforms and chocolate from the

co-pilot. Mike holds Edelweiss flowers given to him in the name

of the three crew who died.


    The bugler plays for the ceremony.


 The ceremonial canon

Mike presents researcher, Josef Eimannsberger with a certificate

of appreciation from the Friends of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

The three lost crewmen

 Attendees pose with Mike

Kriegie Konnections:

Devon Geiger Nielsen – Douglas Bader Connection – [Kriegie daughter of William D. Geiger, Jr.]

 Who tied the knots in bed sheets dropped from Douglas Bader’s hospital window in St. Omer, France, after his capture? – Mystery solved.

Devon has submitted the story below after her research on her father connected her with the story of famed RAF legless flier and SLIII POW Douglas Bader, who was eventually thrown out of Stalag Luft III for starting trouble and frequent escape attempts. Lt. Col. A.P. Clark was given Bader’s bunk in North Compound that day after he witnessed Bader’s removal from the camp as Bader walked through a gauntlet of German guards, strutting defiantly as if he was inspecting the troops.

  Douglas Bader – RAF

 Bill Hall Ties Sheet Rope for Douglas Bader Hospital Escape

by Devon Geiger

As a WWII history buff, the name Sir Douglas Bader was one I knew well. I had collected photos and articles about the famous “legless” Royal Air Force ace. Bader was in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain before being shot down and taken captive in the summer of 1941. Douglas became an equally famous POW for his brilliant and courageous escape attempts. My father, William Geiger, was in Stalag Luft III with him until the Germans moved Douglas to Colditz Castle, a camp for “incorrigible” Allied officers. Dad spoke of this amazing man who had lost his legs well before the war, but still became a fighter pilot ace.

 It wasn’t until recently, however, that Marilyn Walton introduced me to Bader’s relative, Wendy McCleave in the UK.  And this is why she did: I had been telling Marilyn about my long-overdue success in finally locating the Canadian family of William (Bill) Hall, my father’s best friend during his long stay in Stalag Luft III. I relayed to Marilyn how wonderful it was that Bill Hall’s son had sent me his father’s recollections of being an RAF Eagle Squadron pilot and prisoner of war. (Shot down on July 2, 1941, Bill Hall was the first Eagle Squadron pilot taken captive). One of Bill Hall’s stories was about his time as a hospital patient in German-occupied St. Omer, France. Bill had to have several operations on his shattered knee during the summer of 1941. In August of that year, Douglas Bader was admitted to the hospital in St. Omer, too, and became a ward-mate of Bill Hall’s. In early September, Bill assisted Douglas with an amazing, one-man escape from their hospital room by tying sheets end-to-end and hanging them outside the 4th story window.


Tied bed sheets that facilitated Bader’s escape hang from Bader and Hall’s window at St. Omer hospital.

 I sent the excerpt to Wendy in February. Reading a firsthand account is a very moving and poignant experience for any family member, and I’m very glad she got this opportunity.

 Wendy had known of the hospital escape, but this recounting chronicled interesting details and allowed her to realize it was the Eagle Squadron Pilot Officer Bill Hall’s knot tying that helped Bader successfully reach the ground.

 Although Douglas was recaptured, this courageous escape attempt set the stage for his future activities in captivity and also inspired other POWs. Both men were freed in 1945, and continued flying.

 This is an excerpt from Bill Hall’s own memoir:

 Bader had been shot down near St. Omer, and there was great excitement amongst the Germans. The German officers from the squadron based nearby, came in every evening. Bader flew with artificial legs, and he had lost one when he bailed out. The Germans found it jammed in the wreckage of his aircraft and brought it to the hospital. It was all twisted to hell, so they took it away and repaired it for him. Bader persuaded the Germans to request over radio to the British, to drop a new leg for him. The RAF dropped it over St. Omer en route to a bombing mission.

 Our nurse, Sister Erica, was very kind to us. She could speak only a few words of English, but she would occasionally bring us a lemon, a couple cigarettes or pieces of candy. She sewed a button on Bader’s tunic, I remember. There was also a French ward maid who had connections with the French underground. When Bader planned to escape, she plugged the sink in our room, and a French plumber who was part of The Underground came to fix it. What transpired from that meeting, I never knew. It must have been Sept. 9 that Bader made the plans to escape. I tied several bed-sheets together for him with square knots, and he secured this to a bed-stand. Sometime between midnight and one o’clock, (it would have been between guard changes), Bader threw the rope of sheets out the window, and told me there was enough and even some to spare. It was a very calm night, and the courtyard below was all cobblestones. I heard Bader slide down a sheet, step on a knot, and slide down another sheet, and step again on a knot until he reached the ground. In the quiet of the night, every step he took his legs squeaked like the devil, and I could hear him squeaking off up the cobblestones, and making quite the racket. How he got away with it I’ll never know.

 The next morning when the Germans found him gone, all hell broke loose. The other English chap and the Pole were shipped off to Frankfurt en Maine. I was rushed to the operating room to have my body cast changed to a traveling one, and the next day, Sept. 11, I was shipped off to Hohemark Hospital in [near Oberursel, Germany, near the interrogation center. [ sic – Originally read near the Belgian border, but correction was made for the sake of accuracy and clarification.] Bader had been recaptured, but I didn’t see him in St. Omer. We did pass at the gates of [Stalag] Luft III in January 1943. He was moving out as I was being taken in.”

 Credit: William (Bill) J. Hall’s autobiography, courtesy of Bill Hall’s son and family


Portrait of Canadian P/O William (Bill) J. Hall


German holds the box that was dropped containing the leg.

 Germans inspect the newly-dropped prosthetic leg.

 British military report on the mission to drop the leg

 Linda Berkery –  Danish Connection [Kriegie daughter of William J. Styles  Jr.]

In trying to figure out her father’s wartime history, POW daughter, Linda Berkery, knew two things. One was that on the 1945 evacuation march from Stalag Luft III  that her father pushed his POW journal into the hands of a German housewife while on the long march from Stalag Luft III to Spremberg, Germany. Styles had written “forwarding” information at the front of the book, and it was returned to him by the woman in August, 1945.


Styles’ notation in German requesting return of the journal

And Linda also knew that a nice Danish fisherman saved him from drowning after his B-17 crashed into the North Sea. Co-pilot Styles was on his eighth mission to Germany and flew on Duration Plus Six that day. Unable to bomb the intended target, Warnermunde, Germany, the crew flew to heavily-defended Kiel, and was hit by intense flak. The No. 2 engine smoked and failed and another engine went out. The plane plunged into the sea about 50 miles from Denmark and 150 miles from their 100th Bomb Group base at Thorpe Abbotts, England.

Styles and his pilot, Richard Carey, got out. Two gunners, escaped the ditched fuselage through the overhead hatch, but they were severely injured. Six crew members were trapped in the radio compartment and went down with the plane. Above, a friendly bomber circled low intending to blow the rubber dinghy toward the survivors, but instead it blew the boat further away.

The skipper on a small Danish fishing boat named “Bertha,” saw Styles’ plane go down and went searching for survivors. Within the hour, he found the four Americans floating in their Mae Wests and pulled them to safety, using splints from a wooden fish crate to set broken arms and legs.

Decades later, Linda flipped through her father’s returned Wartime Log and stared at original photos showing her father and his pilot right after the rescue. She wondered who took the photos and how her father got them. She found an aged newspaper clipping with the same photo, her father’s name appearing in the headline. He was marked with an X, and the skipper was marked with XX in the newsprint.


Original newspaper article

Taped inside the journal was a handwritten letter from Denmark posted August 3, 1949, and Linda felt the need to know more and to try to locate the fisherman’s family.

After posting everything on Facebook, a translation came the following day. VESTJYDEN, the local paper in Esbjerg, reported:

      “The fisherman explains that the cutter “Bertha” was fishing on Sunday

       afternoon on the 25th of July [1943] when the crew observed a large formation

       of American airplanes. The last of the airplanes continued to lose altitude and

       had to do a water landing some distance away from the cutter, which immediately

       set course for the airplane, and saved four men of the airplane crew.

       The cutter remained at the crash site until midnight since it appeared possible

       that the Americans would send a floatplane to rescue the crashed crew. One of

       the crew of the airplane was seriously wounded, and since the cutter during the

       evening had been observed by a German fighter plane and also did not have

       enough fuel…[he]decided not to set course for England but instead went

       in the direction of Esbjerg…and arranged for medical help and ambulances. These

       were waiting at the dock…Unfortunately the Germans had gotten wind of the activity

      and demanded to have the four American fliers turned over to them once they

       arrived. Despite protests and demonstrations, the Germans took them in their

      custody…” [The article was torn right at the end.]

 The letter dated August 1949 was from Sven Lundager Pedersen:

           “I remember you very well. Also your three friends I remember well.

            Parson[s] was one of them and I believe that one was named Lepper.

            I forgot the name of the third one. [Carey] I am sending you a newspaper

            article and have marked you with an X and myself with XX.

            I am also sending you two pictures…I hope you remember me and ask

            you to write to me and tell me how you have been doing in the past years.

            Also please information about your three friends. I will end the letter with

            the warmest greetings to you and your family.”

Soren Flensted from the site, AIRWAR OVER DENMARK agreed to contact the newspaper in Esbjerg to share Linda’s story. Finn Buch, from Denmark, sent a photo of the fishing vessel and located the address from Sven’s letter. Unfortunately, the home of the skipper was now part of the town hospital. Finn sent a declassified listing of what was taken from her father at the time of rescue: two ID tags, one crucifix, one crucifix with a chain, one watch, one pocket lighter, and two maps. Michael Faley, archivist for The100th Bomb Group Foundation, introduced Linda to Jeanne Carey, daughter of Pilot Richard Carey, telling her she now had a sister.

The Danish newspaper printed Linda’s search during last Easter week. In just hours, she and the fisherman’s family were connected. She expressed her gratitude and told them her father had lived a good life and had four daughters. Pilot Carey had nine children. The  Danish family never saw the photos before but rapidly shared the story with children and grandchildren.


The Danish newspaper has run several articles about Linda’s quest

to find the family of the fisherman who rescued her father.


Bertha – the ship that rescued the downed airmen


Original picture from the day of the rescue – Linda’s

father, Bill Styles on the right


 Carey and Styles


 Pilot Carey with injured crew member

Linda soon located and communicated with the son of one of the fishing crew. He said he listened to the story wide-eyed as his father shared about the rescue. It is his father who took the photos and is in the photo that Linda couldn’t identify. The son told Linda that her father gave him maps, and he still has them, and agreed to send Linda one of the silk escape maps that passed from her father’s hands to his that day.

Linda will return the original letter to the Danish museum, and as all of the story had enfolded and continues to, Linda is overwhelmed to realize that the son of a Danish fisherman has something her father gave at the time of his rescue, and with its return into her hands, it is like getting a small piece of her father and his history returned to her.

Silk escape map Linda will receive from the

Danish fisherman’s son.

 Photos Now Attached to U.S. Graves in Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial at Madingley – POW son, Mike Woodworth – U.S.

 The American Cemetery will be posting pictures of most of the Americans buried there including some children and the body of a “Red Cross Lady” turned spy.  See link below:

 Historic Letter Found – POW daughter, Anne Bettinger – U.S.

 I was looking at the latest issue of the newsletter (thank you for all you do!!) and wondered if you would be interested in seeing a 2-page letter my dad, George C. Bettinger, wrote to his parents after liberation at Camp Lucky Strike.  

 I found it buried in a box in my garage a few years ago. Pristine condition, never opened or touched since 1945 except being moved from my grandparents’ house to my folks’ house to mine at some point. I’d never seen it before. Talk about shocked!”


Letter from the Past – POW niece and author, Louise Williams – sent by POW son, Mike Netherway – Australia

 “Marilyn – This was on the news a couple of days ago, and  I thought you might like to see it – some interesting German images of Rusty Kierath & John Williams, shortly before their executions [after the Great Escape]. I guess the expressions on their faces say it all? The story of locating Williams’ last letter is highlighted by the story of the pilot and his ground crewman’s daughter.”

  •  Account of North Compound POWs’ Experiences on the March –  Ed Reniere – Belgium

 More on the march:

(cut and paste this link.)

Folded Wings

 With condolences to the families –

 Wallace Kirkpatrick – POW daughter, Joe-Beth Kirkpatrick – Texas

Died on March 3, 2017, at the age of 96.


Wallace Kirkpatrick  Postwar 1945


Kirkpatrick second from the left at Stalag Luft III


Finding his khaki blouse in a cedar chest, Wallacegrumbled when he couldn’t get it buttoned.

 One is the funeral home’s obituary and the second is an article from the San Antonio Express-News because of an earlier feature story from 2015:

 Arnold Wright


Arnold Wright


POW 05 Arnold Wright & Tuskege Airman Alexander Jefferson

Arnold with Alex Jefferson at a Stalag Luft III reunion

 A bright light in the Stalag Luft community has dimmed with the death of Arnold Wright, who transcribed the secret ledger from South Compound, containing over 2200 names, and put it into book form, naming it Behind the Wire. This book has been an invaluable resource for researchers, and it also helped Arnold acquire 18 Purple Hearts for Stalag Luft III POWs, including one for a dear friend of his, Tuskegee Airman, Alex Jefferson.

Arnold attended Stalag Luft III reunions for many years and counted the original Stalag Luft III Board as his best friends, including Lt. Gen. A.P. Clark. Doolittle Raider, Major General Davy Jones, was also a dear friend, as was Major General Lewis E. Lyle. Arnold knew everyone. I am one of the many who will miss his many phone calls and mailings of pictures and articles from his vast collection of material he recently donated to the A.F. Academy. Award-winning journalist, Mary Hargrove’s last article, done in cooperation with Arnold, was about the POWs at Stalag Luft III—her favorite piece she admits of her entire lifetime journalistic career. Mike Eberhardt drove to Arkansas several times just to sit and talk with Arnold. It was our joint pleasure at a Stalag Luft III Reunion to watch as Arnold was named the second recipient of the Lt. Gen. Albert P. Clark Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Keeping the Story of Stalag Luft III Alive, presented by Lt. Gen. Clark’s daughter, Carolyn Clark Miller. Anyone who knew Arnold knew his sense of humor and love of pranks that endeared him to so many. We are all better for having known this soft-spoken and hilarious man and will miss him tremendously. Below is the text of his award that was read by Carolyn Miller for the presentation:

 “I have heard a great deal about Arnold from my father and, although I had never met him in person, we have corresponded. So we have met via snail mail.

 When my Dad met POW Ewell McCright, captured early in the war, he was told McCright had received some bad news in a letter from home and became despondent. As his despondency continued and grew deeper, my father recognized that he needed a meaningful diversion, so he asked Ewell to undertake the dangerous job of recording detailed information on each new American POW who entered South Compound, carefully recording each man’s name, rank, serial number, and other pertinent information, including his shoot-down history. McCright carried out this mission, scrupulously recording the information in detail for 2200 POWs. The ledgers were kept hidden from the Germans and secretly carried on the forced march in the winter of 1945, disguised as food hidden in a pair of pants draped around Ewell’s neck. He carried them 52 miles to Spremberg and onto the box cars that took him to Moosburg, Stalag VIIA, where they were nearly confiscated twice. Only a sympathetic guard in one case and a bribe to another guard in the other saved them. Eventually, the ledgers were flown back to the States, and later they were used at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

 Upon Ewell’s death, his heirs learned that he had willed this treasure trove of information to Arnold, a man whom he had never personally met, but knew by way of Arnold’s reputation and affection for WWII veterans.

 Over the course of more than two and a half years, Arnold laboriously transcribed the information, and published the ledgers at his own expense, and the transcriptions became the basis of his book, “Behind the Wire.” Based on the documentation in the book describing many POWs’ injuries, this labor of love also allowed 18 former POWs to obtain well-earned Purple Hearts, including Tuskegee Airman Alex Jefferson, whom you heard earlier today, when their military records burned in a fire in the St. Louis repository. Informational books for Center, West and North Compounds followed.

 The recipient of awards too numerous to name, Arnold also received the Presidential Appointment Selective Service System award in 2003, and in 2004, he received an award from VFW Post #2256 commending him on the publication of his six books, including My Country Called, which told 685 stories from Saline County, Arkansas, WWII vets, and Out of the Blue, a compilation of acts of heroism by WWII airmen.

 Arnold is the first person from Arkansas to receive an Air Force Scroll of Appreciation, the highest honor given from the A.F. to civilians. As a WWII historian and author, and an honorary member of Stalag Luft III, Mr. Wright’s contribution to keeping the story of Stalag Luft III alive can only be described as outstanding.!/Obituary

 Penn State Grant Recipient – POW daughter, Dr. Marla Okner – U.S.

 Hello, Marilyn!

 This is Marla Okner, and as you can see from the “email trail” below, we briefly corresponded a couple of years ago, prior to my research trip to the Netherlands. At that time, I signed up for your Stalag Luft III newsletters, and I’ve been enjoying them ever since.

 The reason I’m writing now is to thank you. It was in the March edition of your newsletter, I think, that you mentioned the Eighth AAF Archives that are housed at Penn State, and the opportunity to apply for a summer travel research grant to use those archives. I decided to apply for the grant, and I just found out yesterday that I won the award!! I’m so excited! 

 Thanks again for your marvelous, informative newsletter! My plans are to visit Penn State in early August, and I’ll contact you again once the trip is complete.

 Best regards,



 One Life, One Flag, One Mile – POW nephew, John Lanza – US GJokaiyJNVA

 Book Recommendation – POW son, Mike Woodworth  – US

 To Kingdom Come An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany by Robert J. Mrazek.

 Book Recommendation – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

 I highly recommend “Given Up For Dead” by Bill Sloan.  This is a riveting and exceptionally well-written account of the oft-forgotten Battle at Wake Island in the two weeks following Pearl Harbor where Americans defended this tiny atoll before finally surrendering only after inflicting enormous casualties on the Japanese invaders.  Survivors then endured a POW experience worth remembrance.  Bill Sloan wrote this book in 2002 when he still had personal access to many Wake Island survivors.

Corrections from last newsletter – I inadvertently left out the fact that the books being sold by Martyn Rees, son of the late RAF POW Ken Rees, are signed by Ken. So sorry.


The deal:

I will need an address. Pay by PayPal using

Cost is: £20+ £5 P&P UK. Outside UK £8 P&P

 Also, the second daughter of Bob Doolan, pictured with her father on his 100th birthday, is Patti Schoborg with her sister, Mary Lance

 Did you Know – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

 At one point early in the war, France had 3000 more tanks than the Germans.


 As Memorial Day approaches, and we pause to pay tribute to all our wartime veterans who lost their lives, take a moment and remember the men lost on D-Day.

 Remembering D-Day – 9,000 Fallen Soldiers Etched into the Sand on Normandy Beach to Commemorate Peace Day

 A British artist, accompanied by numerous volunteers, has a unique way to remember those lost on D-Day.  At the beaches of Normandy, with rakes and stencils in hand, the artist and volunteers etch in the sand 9,000 silhouettes representing the fallen. Titled, The Fallen 9000, the piece is meant as a stark visual reminder of those who died during the D-Day beach landings at Arromanches on June 6th, 1944, during WWII. The original team consisted of 60 volunteers, but as word spread, nearly 500 additional local residents arrived to help with the temporary installation that lasted only a few hours before being washed away by the tide.







Until next time, 

                 Marilyn Walton                                                    

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers              



Stalag Luft III Newsletter – April 2017


Stalag Luft III Newsletter – April 2017

Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

In the very near future, I will be sending out a separate newsletter on the remarkable recovery of SLIIII POW Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers, a story many of you have followed. His remains, hidden for so long, are coming home after 74 years! The story has been an incredible one, start to finish.

Happenings in Zagan:

 The following links show some of the activities in the camp for the 73rd anniversary of the Great Escape, held annually in Poland. The American troops present this year seemed to enjoy the running race as much as the Poles did!

Marek signaled the start of the recent race with a shot from an A-34 tank!

 Polish Children Learning about the War – The Great Escape Historical Contest


“For the Great Escape memorial ceremony, seventeen teams (three children per team) also took part. There were three age categories: primary school, middle school, and high school. They started with an 80-question quiz. Afterward, was the most exciting part: The sand relay race. The teams moved a mug full of the same yellow sand the POWs dealt with digging the tunnels, from one bucket to another. The last competition required the teams to recognize national flags and military buttons. After the awards ceremony, all were invited for a barbecue. It was a lot of fun and at the same time great history lesson!”


                80-question quiz in the replica of Hut #104


                   Marek’s briefing before the quiz


                                Marek explains the rules.


               Mirek monitors the Recognize the Flag Contest


                                      Sand relay race


                                          Sand relay race

French Documentary on the Great Escape Release

The first documentary on the Great Escape that the French have done has just been released. Many of us who assisted with it were given credit by the French. Marek, received special recognition. Many of the contributors are also contributors to this newsletter! We hope there will be a version with English subtitles or voiceovers.



                                    Marek’s special recognition in the film

Incredible Find – Ingo Hauck – Germany

Dr. Gustav Simoleit, former college professor and adjutant to Col. von Lindeiner at Stalag Luft III, arrived at the camp with a suitcase in his hand. During the Forced March in Jan. 1945, he was sent to Stalag VIIA with the Americans in Moosburg, Germany, where he surrendered the camp to the American forces on April 29, 1945. Researcher, Ingo Hauck, was contacted by a man who had it. The man got Ingo’s contact through this newsletter.


                      Dr. Simoleit in his office at SLIII


Dr. Simoleit, left – April 29th, 1945 – the surrender at Stalag VIIA


                   Dr. Simoleit’s name inside the suitcase


 Thanks to Dr. Susanne Meinl in Germany for translating the list of contents in the suitcase! This paper was pasted inside the suitcase.

It is not known when the suitcase with all its contents was separated from Dr. Simoleit, who became a POW of the Americans. During the souvenir taking after liberation in Moosburg, it is not beyond the realm of imagination that the contents were divided among POWs and liberators.

 Beginning left side under Dr. Simoleit’s name:

Schuhe und Gamaschen – shoes and leggings

Hemden – shirts

Kragen – collar

Unterhosen – underpants

Strümpfe – socks

2 – Uniform – second uniform

Mantel – coat

Regenmantel – rain coat

Koppel – belt

Schwert – sword

Dolch – dagger

Pistole – pistol

Fernglas – binoculars

Signalpfeife – signal whistle

Kartentasche – bag for maps

Hausschuhe – carpet slippers

Handtücher – towel

Taschentücher – handkerchief

Stiefelanzieher – metal to put on boots – boot tighteners

Waschzeug – utensils for washing oneself – wash kit

In the middle:

Essbesteck – cutlery

Kochzeug (?) – cooking utensils

Briefpapier – stationery for letters

Schreibzeug – writing utensils

Radiergummi – eraser

Taschenmesser – pocket knife

Taschenlampe – flashlight

Bücher über Flak – books on AA Guns

? Buch –???

Spiegel – mirror

Rasierzeug – shaving kit

Feldflasche – field or military bottle

Handschuhe – gloves

Hosenträger – suspenders

Knöpfe (?) – buttons

Sicherheitsnadeln – safety pins

Dr. Orville Barks – SLIII – POW son, Jim Barks

(Dr. Barks was one of the American doctors at Stalag Luft III.)

“What I have recently confirmed about where my father was in Friesing [Germany] is that the former nunnery at 21 Domberg was converted into a POW hospital.  That’s where he was at the end of the war and was liberated at that building. 

The photo attached is of him on the left.  I haven’t found out who is with him in the photo, but I believe he was from New Jersey.  But it was taken by Captain Jos. J. LaRusso, who was part of the liberating unit, and who sent the photo to my mother in a letter to her dated May 26, 1945. The bottles of wine in the box were given to them by Capt. LaRusso. 


 Glemnitz’s Grave Ingo Hauck – Germany

After much research, Ingo was able to find the grave of SLIII’s Hermann Glemnitz, one of the most colorful German characters in camp. He is buried in Berlin.

Inscription on the grave says: Married-Couple Glemnitz
Their daughter, Gerda Kirchneck is also there.

Gerda and Mrs. Glemnitz attended SLIII POW Reunions.


Clandestine photo of Glemnitz in camp


      Hermann and daughter, Gerda, at SLIII Reunion


 Lt. Gen. A.P. Clark with Hermann at reunion



                                            Glemnitz Grave 

Ed Carter Edwards’ Card from Buchenwald – Bernd Schmidt – Germany

 Bernd, a German researcher, who lives in Weimar, has sent along this medical card kept on the late POW/Buchenwald POW, Ed Carter Edwards. It was sent to me when I and other researchers tried to find out what the injection was that the airmen kept at Buchenwald were given twice as they were lined up standing in formation. The injection was given into their chests. When Ed went back to the concentration camp, he questioned historians there as to what it could have been. The injections, which were very painful, were given not all that long before the airmen were released to Stalag Luft III.


 Mystery Solved – Joe Eubanks

Three months ago, I featured a query regarding the identity of a POW painted by POW Don Stine:

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

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

 I recently heard from the owner of the mystery painting, Joe Eubanks – US.

Below, he relates his journey of discovery researching this painting:


I wanted to give you an update on the painting done by Don Stine which I now own.  His son, Jerry Stine, forwarded you a picture I sent him which you included in your December 2016 newsletter.

 I have identified the man in the painting as Captain Robert Adamina. He was a P47 pilot who was shot down on May 14, 1943, after he downed a Focke Wulf 190. He was escorting bombers on a raid over Antwerp that day. He bailed out over the North Sea and was picked up by a German fishing boat.

I identified him by finding a grainy small photo of him in wartime prisoner of war bulletin on your site. He was amongst a group of 12 others in a photo, but their identity was not supplied with the caption. In later issues of the prisoner of war bulletins, I was provided by last name only for the men in the photo. From that last name, I was able to locate pictures to positively identify him.

 I have been in contact with his only living relative, and she told me she wanted me to keep the painting and tell her father’s story. She is going to help supply me some of his story. I was able to share many details with her about her father’s story which she didn’t know. She had also never seen the pictures I found online and attached to this email.

 Here are some attachments of those pictures I found online of him.  I knew you would appreciate hearing how this all came together.

 Jerry’s father, Don Stine, is pictured in the group photo as well. He is the third to the right of Mr. Adamina who is wearing the crusher cap.


                              Capt. Adamina


                                Capt. Adamina


         Capt. Adamina in the Red Cross Bulletin


Middle – Picture where Joe identified Capt. Adamina

 100th Birthday SLIII POW 2nd Lt. William J. Bramwell – POW daughter, Joan Wootton – US


The flag Joan and her daughter displayed is from the town of Lokeren in Belgium which is where his plane crashed and was given to him by the town. Joan and her husband, Mike, brought it home from the 70th anniversary commemoration of the date of the crash Nov. 5, 1943.      

100th Birthday – POW daughter, Mary Lance – US

 As mentioned in the last newsletter, POW Bob Doolan celebrated his 100th birthday. Mary has sent pictures.

72th Anniversary of the Liberation of Buchenwald – Bernd Schmidt – Weimar, Germany

“Today was the ceremony of 72th Anniversary of Liberation of Buchenwald.
25 survivors attended, but no liberators. Maybe the liberators are in a high age and can’t come.

But I was very surprised to met Craig Carter-Edwards, grandson of Ed Carter-Edwards, who you knew very well. We are so sorry that Ed passed away in February. So, Craig was coming to Buchenwald again in the name of his Grandpa.

With the new generation, the memories will be living in the future too.
Bernd “


                  Bernd and Craig

Craig is proud to provide the following link—Ed putting his experiences into his own words:   (some graphic content)

POW Ken Rees Book—POW son, Martyn Rees – UK

Martyn has discovered some copies of his late father’s book, “Lie in the Dark and Listen,” and is selling them.

By age 21, Ken had already trained to be a pilot officer; flown 56 hair-raising bomber missions by night over Germany; taken part in the siege of Malta; got married; been shot down into a remote Norwegian lake; been captured and interrogated; sent to Stalag Luft III, survived the Great Escape and the forced March to Bremen. Truly a real-life adventure story, written with accuracy, pace and drama.


The deal:

I will need an address. Pay by PayPal using

Cost is: £20+ £5 P&P UK. Outside UK £8 P&P

Fantastic Holdings at the Army’s Military Museum – POW son, Alan Hopewell – US

Priceless contents at Fort Belvoir, VA, when and if the museum opens –  those interested in opening the museum have to raise another $100 million from private donations to  build the museum.  The museum will be on Ft. Belvoir so when it opens it will be an Army Museum open to the public like the Smithsonian in DC or the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico.

Intersection of Hearts and History – Ross Greene, US

Thanks to Ross for this incredible story told to him by a former Vietnam vet and employee of Southwest Airlines who was shot down twice in Vietnam flying Hueys. His brother was shot down once in Vietnam flying a push-pull aircraft, and his father was shot down flying a P-47 in WW2…two generations of proud veterans.

Ross: “One of the ancillary benefits of having authored a book continues to be the incredibly diverse and interesting people I have met or communicated with. Last week, I received the following story from Russ Moseley from Salt Lake City. He had found A FORTRESS AND A LEGACY while searching for an interesting WW2 book.”

Russ Mosely:

“My father was shot down by Germans over Rouen, in occupied France, northwest of Paris. He was with the 8th, flying P47s. A French family found him wrapped up in his parachute and hid him four months until the underground collected him and got him out. Here’s where your cousin Thelma and the story in your book ring so similar.

I was a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines (now retired) and one flight, about six years ago, I was boarding an older couple who sat on the front row. As they seated, she remarked they were newlyweds. They had just married, because he had met her at a reunion of pilots. His wife had died, and her husband, who trained with the pilot, had also died. They met, fell in love, and in their 80s married. I kinda let that blow right on by but soon was to learn it was such an amazing story.

The old guy had been a pilot on B25s, which he told me the Japanese called the “twin tailed dragon,” because they knew what a terrible weapon it was against them. He was flying to give a presentation on his WW2 experience flying in the Solomon Islands during WW2.

As we spoke, the conversation caught the attention of a lady across the aisle. Her inquiry of the pilot and her demeanor made it very clear that the conversation had hit a tender spot with her. She said to the old vet, “My father worked on that very same airplane, and he was in the Solomon Islands. He was killed there, and I was born while he was there. I know nothing more of him. My mom died, and I have nothing else to help me know anything about him. I don’t even know what he looked like.”

The old pilot asked her what his name was and when she told him, things got real quiet. He asked his new bride to trade places with the lady. When they were together, the old guy said to her with a palpable solemnity, “Your dad was part of my ground crew, and he was killed in a Japanese attack. I want to show you something.” He brought out a photo of his unit that he intended to use in his presentation. He pointed to a man in the crew and said, “This is your father.”

I must tell you here that there wasn’t a dry eye in the front three rows of that aircraft. I myself was so emotional and so grateful to stand witness to the moment when a lady in her 60s was able to see her father’s photo for the very first time. For the rest of the flight, the old guy held her hand and told her stories about her dad, what he was like and that he remembered his crew chief talking about a daughter he’d never seen yet.

This was the best day of my career. What’s the odds a lady boards an airplane, overhears a conversation, and has the courage to ask the question that answers the biggest question of her life? You know because you did all your amazing research, dug up lost info, wormed out people you didn’t know who had info you did not know and needed to clarify a history that was so important to so many. The result was your book. The best day of my career.

And by the way, I myself, have found and put my hands on the very P47 my dad was flying when it was shot down. I have spent many happy hours with the very family who hid my dad, listening to the stories and sharing tears of joy and sorrow of that time and place. And I have seen the First Communion dress that family made from dad’s parachute after the war. It is now in a museum in Paris.

Thank you for your book. Thank you that through it I was able to learn so much that I failed to ask my dad when he was alive. … Russell Moseley”

Ross:  “I can add nothing else to this moving story. I truly believe that the entire sequence of this encounter was a God-ordained event.”

Folded Wings

P38 Fighter Pilot – Jack Moak – POW nephew, John Lanza

SLIII POW Robert G. Ries – POW Tom Wilson – US

Two days before his death, Mr. Ries contacted POW Tom Wilson, 97, asking him to visit. Ries, also 97, was co-pilot to Col. Charles “Rojo” Goodrich, Senior American Officer of South Compound. Ries had not seen Tom for years. Tom was able to visit with him. Robert died a few days later on April 5, 2017, in Wisconsin. Condolences to the Ries family.

Blechammer Tour Dates Announced for 2018 – Szymon Serwatka – Poland

The 2018 dates and details are published on Szymon’s new website:

The dates are: May 13-19 and Sept. 9-15

Did You Know – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

Of men born in Russia in 1923, only 20% survived the war.


P 51 Pilot Shoots Down Nazis, Japanese, and One American Plane – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – US

Link to Wartime Logs – POW son, Mike Woodworth – US

Losing a Wing Ross Greene, US

Vietnam Wall – Ross Greene – US

The link below is a virtual wall of all those lost during the Vietnam war with the names, bios and other information on our lost heroes. Those who remember that time frame, or perhaps lost friends or family can look them up on this site.

First click on a state.  When it opens, scroll down to the city and the names will appear.

click on their names.  It should show you a picture of the person, or at least their bio and medals

Until next time,

Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers




Stalag Luft III Newsletter – March 2017


Stalag Luft III Newsletter – March, 2017

Greetings Stalag Luft III POWs, Families, and Friends,

Friday, the 24th of March, marked the 73rd anniversary of the Great Escape. In 1944, the escape was also on a Friday. On a sunny day in Zagan, many gathered to remember the fifty POWs who escaped through Tunnel Harry in North Compound and lost their lives, murdered by the Gestapo. Air Commodore Charles Clarke, who flew with the RAF and was a POW at Stalag Luft III, was an honored guest. On Saturday, the 25th, The Great Escape Cup Cross Country Run took place with over 700 runners, including the RAF and US Army. There was also a static display of the U.S. 11th Division equipment that recently arrived at the camp.

  73rd Anniversary of the Great Escape:


Marek and the Mayor of Zagan, Daniel Marchewka

Marek, Master of Ceremonies

2nd Tactical Wing of the Polish Air Force delegation

Col. Christopher Norrie, right, and Sgt. Major Christopher Gunn,

left, U.S. 3rd  Armored Brigade Commanders

Inspector of the Polish Air Force, Gen. Krzysztof Zabicki,

right, with Gen. Stanisława Czosnek, Polish Black Division Commander

A/Cdr Charles Clarke, RAF POW head of the RAF ex-POW Association, age 93, was interviewed by Polish television. He was the only POW to attend.

Video of interview with A/C Clarke:

Charles and Gen. Czosnek

Charles’s speech — Marek, left, and interpreter, Monika Parker


                       Wreath-laying ceremony


45 RAF servicemen arrived on 23rd March and spent all day touring the museum and the camp with Marek.


                                          RAF Bugler

                      RAF bugler playing Last Post

After the ceremony, Black Division’s Band played the theme from The Great Escape to conclude a memorable and meaningful tribute to The Fifty.

 Stalag VIIC Perimeter

More news from Marek:

 “Replica of the Stalag VIIIC perimeter is finished!  It will be painted soon with special protective varnish. As you remember, the perimeter and two new towers were the idea I came up with last year. I designed and planned everything. The mayor and the city council added additional funds. They liked the project, and here it is.”

American Red Cross War Medical Kit Box

Marek has acquired an interesting find that he will be able to use as he creates the new donor-funded replica of the kriegie room in the museum.

“Another great item for the collection. An original American Red Cross Prisoner of War Medical Kit No. 4. We found it in northern Poland so it is not directly related to  SL3, but I’m 100%  sure that hundreds of these were sent to Zagan too.” Here is an exact description of the kit (scroll down):

Night Time View of the New Perimeter and Tower

Marek has sent these beautiful pictures of the recently completed goon box and perimeter fencing he has installed at the camp. Each new project creates the authentic look of the old camp, restored in such a way that many of our POWs might be stunned to see the result.

Boy and Girl Scouts Remember the Great Escape

Boy and Girl Scouts traveling to Zagan participated in the 9th Annual “The Great Escape” Boy Scout competition at the camp. Over 200 Polish Boy Scouts came to pay tribute. Both girls and boys competed, as they are both under one organization, the Polish Scouting Association.

“It started with an official roll call at Gen. Maczek Plaza in Zagan. After the roll call I (with Mirek) welcomed them, and I wished them good luck. They walked from Gen. Maczek Plaza to the museum. Most of them were dressed as escapees, and their first task was to escape from Hut 104. They had to answer some questions about the Great Escape in order to “escape.” We had two volunteers from the Historical Association SAGAN dressed as German soldiers. They were checking the documents.”

The competition camp ended on Sunday, and the participants stayed in the local primary school. Below, Marek is wearing the same original 1943 US Army greatcoat that so many POWs wore on the evacuation march.

Marek and Mirek

Archival Material Made Public – POW son, Ric Martini, U.S.

While researching his upcoming book, Betrayed, about his SLIII/POW father’s stay at Buchenwald, Ric accessed a tremendous amount of material from several archives. He would like to make all of it available to those who would also benefit from reading it. Click on the link below to view what is available—a wide variety of topics are covered. Many thanks, Ric!

British Beer Tribute to the Americans – POW son, Tyler Butterworth – UK

Tyler’s wife, Janet, recently bought him a bottle of beer from a brewery in Wiltshire.

“As you’ll see from the picture, it’s called 506. Why? The label on the bottle reads”:

“The American 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s motto is Currahee, which means ‘Stand Alone.’ This ale does exactly that. It’s our tribute to the men who were stationed on the land where we now grow the barley that makes this premium beer.”

POWs and Purple Hearts – Robert Sabel – U.S.

“A reminder that all American military personnel who experienced severe frostbite are entitled to the Purple Heart. Next of kin are also authorized to pursue the medal. Medical records are the evidence. The computer has avenues to access for records of POWs. With the guidelines, there should be no problem.”

For information, please contact Robert Sabel:

POW Website – POW Ralph Kling – U.S.

Lots to look at on this website sent by one of our POWs.


Many who flew this raid became POWs at SLIII. Be sure to watch this Memorial Video to the men of the 506th Bomb Squadron who flew the deadly low level Ploesti Raid on the oil refinery in Romania:

 More from the Col. Keeffe “Vault” – POW son, Jim Keeffe – U.S.

Jim has just found many maps kept by his father, including this one of Stalag VIIA in Moosburg, Germany, where the Americans were kept until liberation.

“South Compound was in the area marked ‘Officers Transient Compound,’ and Center (and eventually West) were in area marked ‘British.’”


Pictures found in the cabinet:


Former RAF POWs returned to the camp and museum for the 50th anniversary of the Great Escape: This picture was taken in the old museum.

Standing left to right: Dennis Plunkett, Sydney Dowse, Ivo Tonder, Ray van Wymeersch, Les Brodrick and Bob Nelson

Who is Laddie MacArthur??

This young gentleman is in several pictures taken at SLIII during the anniversary.

He is with Hermann Glemnitz on Jim’s black/white picture and with Gen. Spivey on the picture that Jim found at the USAF Academy last year. Does anyone know who he is?

RAF ID Requested – Ian Sayer – Switzerland

Ian sent two pictures for identification. First mystery solved. It is RAF F/Lt John Talbot Lovell Shore on the left next to RAF Jimmy James, one of the surviving Great Escapers. The picture was taken at Stalag Luft I in Barth, before they both transferred to Stalag Luft III.


Jimmy James is shown again below. There are some names on the back of the photo which was given to Ian recently by the daughter of RAF POW Wings Day.


In the back is definitely “Cookie Long,” one of the 50 murdered after the Great Escape.  Jimmy James is in the middle. The words “Trund” and Gilson are also written on the back of the photo. There was a R.M. Trundle who was a RAF POW at SLIII and a G.K. Gilson who was also. Can anyone confirm?

POW Andy Wiseman

Marek sent this picture showing former RAF POW Andy Wiseman in sunglasses below. Andy died a few years ago, but he always went back for the RAF re-enactment marches and memorial activities at the camp. Andy always met up with A/C Clarke at the camp for the anniversary memorials.

“Good old Andy Wiseman seated second from the left (dark glasses). He spoke very good Polish. He was a Polish Jew who went to the UK shortly before 1939. As I remember, he joined the RAF when he was 17. His first name was still Andrzej while in Stalag Luft 3. Andy’s signature in Polish is shown below in his POW diary. He helped to organize the anniversary in 1994, and he attended several Long Marches in the last 10 years. He passed away 2 years ago; we miss him.”

POW Sydney Dowse to Andy’s right


 SLIII Reunion Table Decoration

At a previous SLIII Reunion, replicas of “goon boxes” sat at each table. During the days of the reunion, each goon box held a Nazi flag. On the last night at the banquet, those flags were replaced by Old Glory, much to the delight of the POWs.

Recently, ebay showed one of the table goon boxes:

Marek sent the picture below:


Former Guard, Hermann Glemnitz holds his goon box at the reunion.

Bob Doolan’s 100th Birthday Party March 26st – POW daughter, Mary Lance – U.S.

Enjoy Bob’s recent interview here:

There was a celebration of his birthday (March 21) on March 26 at the Western Hills Retirement Village in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Travel Grant Opportunity – Sue Moyer – SSMA (Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association) – U.S.

A nice opportunity for researchers:

Militaria Show – Robert Coalter – U.S.

“Some of your readers that live in the DFW metroplex may be interested in attending a Militaria Show this May 20-21 in Cleburne, TX.  Vendors will be buying, selling, trading militaria artifacts, and authors selling books and a number of veterans will be there signing books and pictures.

Robert Coalter

Army Air Corps Library and Museum

Sons of Liberty Museum

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

[Mike’s father, Charles, and the late POW Irv Baum, both arrived at SLIII the day after the Great Escape!]

In WWII, the French used the port of Toulon for anchorage of most of the French fleet.  As the Germans initiated their siege on Toulon in late 1942, the French feared seizure of the anchored fleet and scuttled three battleships, seven cruisers, twenty eight destroyers and twenty submarines.  Without the Germans firing  on the French fleet, it was destroyed and constituted a significant naval setback for the Allies as they sought to build their naval capacity in the early stages of the war.

Prior to WWII, the French had designed and then built three prototype bombers that were designed as sea planes.  Upon the German invasion of France, the Nazis captured these planes and flew them to southern Germany where they were kept on Lake Constance.  When the RAF discovered their location, they were bombed and now reside in the deep waters of the lake.


 New Orleans WWII Museum Link to POW Exhibit

 The museum recently had a temporary exhibit, Guests of the Third Reich:

 Danish Boy Finds German Fighter Plane and Pilot – POW son, Mike Eberhardt – U.S.

Finding the Murderers of The Fifty

For those of you who missed this excellent video we played at the reunion regarding the hunt for the murders of the Great Escapers, here is the full video:

Click on, “click to play video” at the very end of the link:

Flying Through the Himalayas – POW nephew, John Lanza – U.S.

(If you have trouble loading or playing this in HD, left click on HD on the bottom right of the screen and choose a lower category of HD.)

 Drone Flying over Auschwitz – POW nephew, Ross Greene – U.S.

Remains of Fighter Pilot Brought home after 70 Years – POW daughter, Joan Wootton – U.S.

Unusual Burial at Sea – Bob Frey – U.S.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 it. 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.

Restoring B-29 “Doc” – POW Kenneth Collins – U.S.

Dog Fight Under the Eiffel Tower – Joe Lawrence – U.S.

Under The Tower (hit control while clicking on the link)

Interview with pilot, Bill Overstreet here:

Harrier Jet Lands with No Landing Gear – POW nephew, Ross Green – U.S.

 Until next time,


Marilyn Walton

Daughter of POW Thomas F. Jeffers



Stalag Luft III Newsletter – Feb. 2017


     Stalag Luft III Newsletter – February, 2017

Greetings POWs, Families, and Friends,

After receiving your generous donations, I received this from Marek, who will be in touch with the donors soon:

“I have had two meetings with the carpenter who is going to build the replica of the POW room for the museum. He showed me some drawings and plans and, believe me, it will be great!

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Love the Museum!

Marek has received a lithograph from the U.S Air Force Thunderbirds. Each of the pilots autographed it for the museum. Marek will display it proudly in the museum where all visitors can see it:


Super Bowl in Zagan

For those who watched the Super Bowl, you might have noticed the Hyundai commercial after the game ended. The troops in Zagan, Poland, to be reunited via video with their loved ones at home, were chosen for the commercial.

If you did not see it, watch for the location at the very beginning of the link below:

According to Marek, the location where the commercial was filmed is the Army Camp just 500 meters from Stalag Luft 3. It is Karliki Camp.

“Karliki was a small estate deep in the woods south of Zagan. The German name was Carlswalde. The original name of SL3 was Kriegsgefangenenlager der Luftwaffe Nr 3 Sagan-Carlswalde, or simply Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Carlswalde.”

NATO TV Interview with Marek

Daily events in Zagan continue to be broadcast worldwide! Watch for Marek in this video, which also gives a good look at the town of Zagan.

Gen. Mika Honor

“Major General Jaroslaw Mika, Black Division Commander and great friend of the museum, became General Commander of the Polish Army on Feb. 8th! He was nominated by the President of Poland. Zagan is so proud of him. The picture below was taken in Nov. 2014 during the Polish-British exercise in Zagan. General Mika is on the left, Lt. General Sir James Everard, Commander British Field Army, is in the middle, and I’m on the right presenting a new tanker helmet to Gen. Everard.”


72nd Anniversary of the Evacuation of Stalag Luft 4 Gross Tychow

After interrogation at Dulag Luft, many of the enlisted men were separated from the officers on their crews. Most of the enlisted ended up at Stalag Luft IV, and sometimes VI. Many of the American officers and their enlisted crews were reunited at Stalag VIIA in Moosburg, Germany, for liberation together after marching from their respective camps. Stalag Luft 4 was evacuated on February 6th. The enlisted men had been months on the road walking to Moosburg from Stalag Luft 4.

Marek has sent the website below. It is in Polish but you can see some pictures of Stalag Luft IV.

Pole, Pawel Urbaniak, the local historian, is wearing the American military attire.

Children, local authorities, and military representatives were guests who were invited to attend the ceremony. After the main service, they visited the Cold War Museum contained in the old Soviet nuclear missile storage bunker. The museum within it is very new and was opened in September 2016.

“Poland will celebrate the 1945 evacuation of both VIIIC and SL3 and the Battle of Sagan on the 16th of February. Stalag VIIIC was evacuated on February 8th, and the Soviets took the town on February 16th.”

Former Commandant von Lindeiner, who had been exiled from the camp after the Great Escape, returned to fight in that battle and was shot in the foot and the shoulder. According to von Lindeiner, he was fighting for his homeland, not Hitler.

Below is the excerpt (in von Lindeiner’s own words) from the book Mike and I published— “From Commandant to Captive.”

“In the early hours of 12 February, I made a reconnaissance trip on motorcycle into the northern battle section accompanied by another officer. When the early fog lifted, we could see occasional Russian guards on the eastern shore of the Bober. Approaching the village of Greisitz, situated on the river, believing it occupied by German troops whom we had telephoned before our departure, we received Russian fire at close range. I was hit in the shoulder and foot causing me to fall. The Russians thought me dead and pursued my escort officer. By crawling through a barn, a stable, and a deep iced-over trench, I was able to reach the edge of the woods, cross through them, and reach Sagan with my last strength after a three-hour grueling march. The bullet was removed from my right foot, and I was properly bandaged. In the evening, a high staff officer took over my command. A heavily-damaged armored scout brought me, on 13 February 1945, via Soran [sic] Sorau-Kalau-Luckau-Torgau and Eilenburg to Leipzig to Reserve Hospital IV St. Georg. On 5 April, I was transferred to the Reserve Hospital at Blankenburg in the Harz and became there a POW of the Americans and then of the English.”

Winter Holiday

“We have now winter holidays in Poland. I arranged several guided trips for the kids. I rented a bus, and we visited the Black Division, 10th Tank Brigade in Swietoszow (Neuhammer) and our museum, of course. Lots of fun, especially the virtual shooting range and Leopard tank simulators.”


Lecture at the 10th Tank Brigade


Marek guides a tour at the museum.


Virtual shooting range


Polish children saluting in a tank

Justice for the SLIII Burglar

“Today I was in the court house. The guy who broke into the museum one year ago will go the jail for 3 years.”

For new readers unfamiliar with this incident previously reported in the newsletter: Break-In at Stalag Luft III, Rather Than a Break-Out

“During the night of Feb. 20th, a man broke into the museum to steal the donation box. He took the whole box, destroyed it, and left in the woods. Police took it with them as evidence. Unfortunately, the motion detector was too far from the window, and it did not activate the alarm system. We have to fix it. Fortunately, the box was almost empty. There were no damages to the museum except the window.  We have everything on tape. Police traced the man as he tried to sell a few Australian dollars in the local currency exchange office I called all local exchange offices and warned them that somebody would try to sell the New Zealand and Australian dollars from the ‘80s and ‘90s. The guy came to the exchange office near Kepler’s Restaurant. The lady called me, and could not do much, but the face of the burglar was recorded there.  At the museum, he had waved to the camera two times! I had given the police a CD with the museum’s recording of him. The burglar was captured by the police within weeks of the theft.”

The man had been convicted of previous burglaries, but he continued to commit burglaries in Zagan after the museum theft. Marek was called as a witness and victim at the trial.


Burglar climbed high to break a widow.

International Tourism Fair


Mirek and Marek are once again promoting the museum at the International Tourism Fair in Breslau. Above is their promotional stand.

Folded Wings

Ed Carter Edwards – POW daughter, Leanne Cunliffe – Canada

On the morning of Feb. 22nd, Ed passed away after spending six weeks in hospice. A bright light has gone out of many of our lives with Ed’s loss. He was a dynamo of a man who was larger than life. He embraced life with such gusto. We all benefited from that. I know that my life was richer for knowing him. I got to know Ed during the making of the documentary, Lost Airmen of Buchenwald, as he had been one of those Lost Airmen. He was our singing star at the Dayton Reunion, much to the delight of all the attendees. We kept in touch long after that reunion, and due to medical reasons, his doctor would not allow him to travel to the U.S. from Canada for the last two reunions, which was disappointing for him and all of us. But I sent him pictures and full reports afterward, and after each reunion, sick as he had been, he called to sing his classic, “We’ll Meet Again” for me that we enjoyed so much in Dayton. It is hard not to think of his mellow tones and message of that song right now. I appreciated so much the books he would send me from Canada and especially a scarf he crocheted and sent to me.

Ed returned to Buchenwald several times to remember his fellow airmen and all those who were held in that concentration camp. He was present at the dedication of the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in London, where he was delighted to meet the queen. His jokes, his smile, his wit, and his good nature will long be remembered. The RAF motto comes to mind with his loss: Per Ardua ad Astra my dear friend – “Through Adversity to the Stars.”

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ed-in-uniform003  ed-on-bicycle002


Ed at Buchenwald with his fellow Lost Airmen


Ed with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh – June 28, 2012


Buchenwald – Ed with fellow Buchenwald/SLIII POW Jim Stewart


Dayton Stalag Luft III Reunion – 2012 -Buchenwald/ SLIII

POWs Don Shearer, Ed, Joe Moser, and Richard Bedford



POW Ken Collins and  POW Jerry Farber Reunite

Below are pictures taken at Jerry Farber’s 95th birthday party in Boca Raton, FL, on Feb. 18th.  POW Ken is shown pinning the POW Medal on Jerry.

“Jerry and I were aviation cadets at bombardier school in San Angelo, Texas.  We graduated in the same class and then got separated. We both ended up in Italy in the 15th Air Force and were shot down on the same day, ending up in Luft 111 and were liberated in Moosburg on April 29, 1945. After graduation, I lost complete contact with Jerry until we found each other here in Florida many years later.  In those dark days back in POW camp, one of our mottos was, ‘home alive in ’45,’ never realizing or even hoping that it would be ‘home alive at 95!’ To say the least, it was a very emotional evening!”

Jerry’s arm is in a cast from a recent fall. Happy birthday, Jerry!

img_2484  img_2509


POW Charles Church

Growing up, I constantly heard the name of POW Charlie Church, also known as “Muzzey.”  He and my father were both in South Compound and became very good friends. I knew he had sons, one named Jim, but after a long search I failed to find either one. Son, Jim, saw notice of the 2012 SLIII Reunion in Dayton and contacted Mike Eberhardt wanting more information. Mike passed his email to me, not realizing I had been looking for Jim for a long time. I never knew where the name “Muzzey” came from, but I put Jim in touch with POW Joe Consolmagno, who knew both of our fathers, and he enlightened both of us through this letter he sent to Jim:


I knew your father well at Stalag Luft III and remember him at our Chicago reunion.  At camp, he was nicknamed “Muzzey,” after the author of a history book that almost all of our generation had in high school. I don’t know what the connection with your father was, though. He wore the nickname when I met him.  I was responsible for his female part in “You Can’t Take It With You.”  I had the part of “Reba,” the black maid, and Muzzey wanted very much to be in the play. To avoid the inconvenience of the makeup, I offered the role to Muzzey, which he jumped at. Stalag Luft III was evacuated at the approach of the Russians in January, 1945, in the middle of a performance of the play, and your father had the discomfort of the makeup during the whole week-long ordeal that followed. (Incidentally, during the Mexican war, Lt. U.S. Grant played a female role in an Army play in Texas.)


Joe C”

Art in the Camp – POW son, Rick Grice – U.S.

Joe Boyle and Emmet Cook were two of the best American artists in the camp. Emmet was the artist who sketched the famous, “I Wanted Wings” cartoon that everyone copied. It was later licensed by the Disney Company. Thanks to Rick for sending some of the artists’ creations and this article about his father:


“There I Was” by POW Joe Boyle

“There I Was – B17 – You might have seen this one. It was in a book entitled Clipped Wings, about SL3 published in 1947.”


Christmas 1944 in South Compound – Emmet Cook

“SL3 Night Before Xmas – This is one of many sketches done by Emmet. I happen to have 5 or 6 of them.”


 POW Charles Grice being captured – Emmet Cook


News Clipping Reporting the Capture

“FWST Article – Comes out of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. It talks about the in-camp ‘rivalry’ between my dad and Emmet Cook who was perhaps the first American my dad met after he was interrogated by his captors. There are some interesting stories behind their first meeting (Emmet thought my dad might have been a German ‘plant.’  They became best friends and, Emmet turned out to be the Best Man at my parents wedding.”

 Bud’s Odyssey Premiers in Pasadena – POW daughter, Jennifer Kingsbury – U.S.

A film made from Jennifer’s book of the same name will be presented at the Pasadena Film Festival on March 12th for those in California who can come out and support one of our own. For more information or questions, contact Jennifer at:  trailer

 B-24 Propeller in UK – Trevor Hewitt – UK

“I have just been given a B-24 Liberator prop blade. It was discovered a couple of years back in a melting glacier in Iceland by a party of school children from the Norwich Cathedral School on a expedition to the glaciers in Iceland, and they brought it back. It comes from a very famous B24 named ‘Hot Stuff,’ which was on its way back to the USA after its crew completed its 25 missions. ‘Hot Stuff’ was with the 93rd Bomb Group flying out of its base at Hardwick, Norfolk, about 15 miles from Frettenham. ‘Hot Stuff’ had completed 31 missions, and her crew completed 25. She, and they, were selected to return to the USA to go on a recruitment and war bonds tour. The pilot of ‘Hot Stuff,’ Lt. ‘Shine’ Shannon and his crew flew into the 8th AF base at Bovington, Cambridgeshire, on the return trip to collect a VIP.


That VIP was Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, Commander of Forces, in the ETO. Apparently, he was a friend of Shannon’s so elected to return with him when he found out that ‘Shine’ was going home. But when Shannon arrived at Bovington, he found that the general had also with him his staff, two Army chaplains, and a civilian Methodist bishop to accompany him home on the trip as well. That meant that five of the Shannon crew were ‘bumped’ to make way for the extra people as there was not room for them all. Those five were to return on another aircraft. Shannon took off from Bovington and landed at Prestwick, Scotland, to refuel for the next leg which was to Iceland, presumably to the airbase at ‘Bluie West One,’ but, unfortunately, ‘Hot Stuff’ crashed into the Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland, killing all those on board. This crash was a bit hushed up and not really a lot was openly published about it at the time. ‘Hot Stuff’ had, in fact, flown on the same mission as the B-17 ‘Memphis Belle’ to Willhelmshaven, Germany, on March 22nd 1943. She was flying her 31st mission that day when ‘Memphis Belle’ was on her 10th. ‘Memphis Belle’ completed her missions three and half months later.

On the same day as the crash, May 3rd, 1943, Lt. Gen. Andrews was given the job of leading all Allied forces across the Channel on D Day, but he was killed before he received the message. The job was later given to a man called Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Apparently, some of the ‘Hot Stuff’ wreckage was returned to the USA a few years back and is now in a museum stateside, but I’m not too sure which one. I suppose that if Shannon and ‘Hot Stuff’ had not crashed, history would have been different, no film, and ‘Hot Stuff’ would have superseded ‘Memphis Belle,’ meaning a good old B-24 got there first, and it would have been Allied Supreme Commander Lt. Gen. Andrews, not Eisenhower on D-Day.

The airbase in Maryland, where presidents depart on Air Force One, is known as Andrews Air Force Base, named after him in his honour.”


Lt. Gen. Andrews

Chicago Tribute Report of Kiel Raid – POW son, Mike Woodworth – U.S.

Former member of the flak battalion that shot down my father’s plane and Mike Woodworth’s father’s plane, Ernie Hasenclever, has sent Mike this newspaper article about the raid on which Mike’s father went down. He found the article in the May 20, 1943, edition of the Chicago Tribune.

 100th Bomb Group Reunion – SLIII Invited – POW niece, Val Burgess – U.S.

 Val: “I had mentioned to you before that I was going to organize a reunion with the 100th Bomb Group. The reunion is Oct. 19-22, 2017, in Washington, DC at the Hyatt Regency Hotel – Dulles, in Herndon, VA.”

Val will complete the schedule in the next few months. So far, an optional wreath-laying ceremony is scheduled at Arlington Cemetery and a visit to the WWII Memorial. Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Air Museum is a highlight and is located at Dulles. The Human Spaceflight collection spans decades of achievements from the first U.S. manned Mercury missions through Apollo, the Space Shuttle, and the International Space Station. There will be a symposium about the September 11, 1944, mission – “Ruhland Mission and Its Aftermath.” The “aftermath” includes the current recovery efforts of Howard Schulte, per Jan Zdiarsky’s findings in 2014 and now involves both the German and U.S. governments.  Many airmen who were shot down on the Ruhland mission were sent to Stalag Luft III. This will be a multi-media presentation and will involve a re-enactor group to dramatize mission briefings. Mike Faley, Jan Zdiarsky, and Mark Copeland are primary historians for this historical presentation.

For further information, email Val Burgess,,

or call (001) 307 674 4080

 Col. Keeffe’s Foreword – POW son, Jim Keeffe – U.S.

Some interesting thoughts of the late SLIII POW James Keeffe, recently sent from his son. Years after the war, Col. Keeffe was asked to write the foreword for a book written by the son of the man who once greeted him on the ground in Holland and helped him evade.

“Here is the foreword my father wrote over twenty years ago for a Dutch book titled, Luchtalarm, by Pieter van Wijngaarden.”


(Click on word document below.)

[unable to copy to WordPress]

Pilot Missing and A Courageous Grandmother – POW nephew, Hugh Carter – U.S.

“My uncle, John Keith Carter, [SLIII POW] and I collaborated on his story called ‘Pilot Missing.’ My uncle passed 15 February, 2008. He was commissioned 2nd Lt. through Air Cadet Program 25 March 1943. He was shot down during a raid on Anklam/Marienberg, 9 October 1943, on his first mission.”

Hugh and his family proudly wrote of their hero, highlighting the wartime service of Hugh’s grandmother as well.

“I chose name ‘Pilot Missing,’ as it was title of a poem my grandmother wrote (Uncle John’s mother) some years after the fact. In 1966, John’s mother, Lucy Fall (Weaver) Wright, looked back on those dark days of not knowing … then bitter sweet news, and, then again not knowing. Eight long days elapsed between the MIA telegram regarding the fate of John, lost on 12 October 1943, and the POW notification received on 20 October. Lucy writes her own words 23 years to the day after the shoot down remembering what she felt……”

              Pilot Missing…..

 Plane down! Two simple words

But oh the heartache and sorrow.

Ground crew anxiously scan the sky

Hardened faced pal, “I’ll write his folks tomorrow.”

 Is there one heart left to grieve?

Or did a wife and child he leave?

Anxious days with countless hours

Of deep despair, and then hope towers.

 Perhaps he is well. Oh, can it be?

Please God bring him back to me.

Endless time until it’s known

The one in a thousand returns to his own.

 October 9, 1966

“My grandmother was a Red Cross Volunteer Nurse’s Aide. She also worked in the Bell Aircraft Corporation Factory assembly line in Marietta, Georgia, making B-29 ‘Super Fortresses.’ She worked to fill the empty hours until her sons would return safely home to her. Originally trained as a ‘Riveter,’ she advanced to ‘Parts Coordinator’ due to her ‘savvy and cheerful devotion to duty’ that kept the assembly line moving. The ‘Super Fortress’ carried the war home to the Japanese, and a single B-29, the ‘Enola Gay,’ flew into history in a way the world has never seen before or since. After the war, she returned to her primary duty of homemaker and grandmother extraordinaire.”




          Lucy Fall Weaver Wright

 Sannie” Doolan PassesPOW daughter, Mary Lance – U.S.

 As POW Bob Doolan – 92nd BG — Center Compound — prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday, March 21st, his daughter reports that his wife and her mother passed away Jan. 29th. Deep condolences to Bob’s entire family.

What Does Oberursel Mean?Claudius Scharff, son of Interrogator Hans Scharff – U.S.

The town of Oberursel, Germany, where Stalag Luft III POWs were interrogated translated means “upper little bear.”

Did You Know? –  POW son, Mike Eberhardt

About 27,000 American POWs were held by the Japanese in WWII, and 11,000 of these POWs would die. In contrast, of the estimated 93,941 American POWs held by Germany, 92,820 survived.

Russian POWs held by the Germans fared far worse. The Germans took 5.7 million Russian soldiers as POWs in WWII, and 3.3 million of the POWs died — about 75% died through deliberate starvation.

The Russians took 2.8 million German soldiers as POWs in WWII. According to the Russians, about 380,000 Germans died as POWs. The Germans dispute this figure, and claim the number of POWs who died was closer to one million.

General MacArthur’s September 1944 decision in WWII to engage the 11,000 Japanese troops holed up on island of Peleliu in the Pacific, as opposed to bypassing it as others on the Joint Chiefs of Staff had recommended since it was not viewed by them as key to the island hopping progression of the Allies to get closer to Japan, ended up with virtually all 11,000 Japanese troops killed.  A handful of Japanese POWs were taken. The American Marines and Army soldiers counted 9800 in casualties during the battle for this six square mile island, which was supposed to take four days but took two months instead.  Americans fired 16 million rounds of bullets, used 118,000 hand grenades, and fired 150,000 rounds of artillery during the siege on the Japanese. That math means that 1450 rounds of ammunition, 10 grenades and 14 artillery rounds were used for each killed Japanese soldier—-a number of whom actually committed suicide rather than suffering death (or capture) at the hands of the Americans. There is no estimate as to the use of flame throwers, but they were extensively used to attack Japanese soldiers who lived in and attacked from the miles of caves that they occupied on Peleliu. The cave system was so extensive, and unexplored by the Americans at the end of the battle, that the bodies of two of the most senior ranking Japanese officers (both of whom committed suicide deep in a command cavern) were not discovered until 40 years after the war ended.


 B-17 All American – Joe Lawrence – U.S.

 WWII’s B-17 “All American” Separating Fact and Fiction

WWII Pilot Flies Again – POW daughter, Diane Stamp – U.S.

WWII Air Force pilot takes flight

How Does Boeing Produce over Forty 737s a Month? – Ross Greene – U.S.

Watch this 3 ½ minute video beginning with the train arriving with the main body in the morning.>

Until next time,

Marilyn Jeffers Walton

Daughter of 2nd Lt. Thomas F. Jeffers