collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I
If you are a former Prisoner of War or a next of
kin of a POW, we invite you to sign and leave your email address so others that
come may find you. Please mention camp, compound, barracks and room numbers if
Veterans History Project - Free Interview on CD for
Veterans - John O'Shea will record any WWII veteran on compact
disk and give them a free copy of the recording, so that they and
their families can hear the veteran's words in their own voices
telling of their time in the war. This is absolutely
free and The Library of Congress has helped promote this project. A copy
will also be sent to
the Library of Congress.
Desmond Plunkett - A Great
Escaper from Stalag Luft III. One of the 23 who were not
executed upon recapture, he instead was sent to Stalag Luft I for
the remainder of the war. Of the 76 that escaped, 50
were executed and 3 made their way back to the Allies. Several
of the escapers had been at Stalag Luft I prior to their transfer to
Stalag Luft III. Jimmy James has written a book about his
experiences titled "Moonless Night", which
details his stay at Stalag Luft I, as well as his escape as part of
the Great Escape, and later an escape from a concentration camp.
Joseph Reus - 2006 German TV interview (mostly German, but some
Nelson Gidding - Academy Award
nominated screenwriter and POW at Stalag Luft I, writer and director
of "Hit the Bottle". Claude McCrocklin - New page with
wonderful drawings and interesting memoirs. Col. Einar A. Malmstrom - the
Senior Allied Officer of the South Compound at Stalag Luft I
Final trip to visit
Stalag Luft I and Stalag Luft IV planning beginning. Sign up now to
learn more as details develop. Join us.
Rodolph Case - Large collection of
memorabilia from Stalag Luft I
Google Earth - Stalag Luft I - The Compounds, the
Memorial, the Church, the Flak School. Zoom in and see them as
they exist today. This is cool. You will need to download the
of Google Earth. See exact longitude and latitude
information on chart on this page. You will recognize the
memorial by the triangle of trees when zooming in.
Click here to download an overlay of the South/West and North 1
compound aerial view around early 1944 (note includes flak school in
error). You can toggle this overlay on and off after you
download by checking or unchecking the box in the Places section of
Google earth. In looking closely at this it appears the
memorial is directly across the street from where the cooler was
located. Here are the coordinates for the memorial. Simply fly
to 54 22 08.84 N, 12 43 26.84 E in google earth.
John Cordner -
A RAF navigator and POW at Stalag Luft I. Here we have a copy
of his POW camp diary, beautifully illustrated. The original
diary resides in the Imperial War Museum in England.
Leland C. Potter -
Copies of his
artwork from his YMCA diary. A Stalag Luft IV POW originally,
transferred to Stalag Luft I in late January 1945.
Donald J. Hyerdall - Rather than wait for the Draft to call him up, Don decided to
enlist so he could choose the branch of service. Don was 19. He
became a Bombardier with the 96th Bomb Group, 337th Bomb Squadron.
After surviving a couple of ditching experiences, on the return from
well protected Germany targets, he joined the ranks of POWs during a
bomb run on Sept. 19, 1944 to Frankfurt, Germany, his 23rd mission
(out of the required 25), to the Frankfurt Marshalling Yards.
After the Russians liberated Stalag Luft 1, Don and another American
bought a car for two packages of Lucky Strike cigarettes. They drove
into camp and the other POWs were flabbergasted that they drove in
with a car! Be sure to read about the results of his fast talking,
accompanied by good luck, and how he returned to England and later to
the United States.
Ernest "Perk" Chumley
- We had the
privilege of traveling throughout Germany/Austria and returning to
Luft 1 with Perk Chumley and all of his family (children and
grandchildren) in September 2001. Perk joined the ranks of POWs
on his 4th mission to Steyr, Austria on April 2, 1944. After
winning, in a lottery for his barracks, 1 of 2 YMCA diaries, Perk kept
a very detailed account of camp life and this diary assists him as he
shares his detailed memories of camp life with us. He recounts
many aspects of life at Barth, including playing in a North Compound
vs. South Compound basketball championship game. Perk
retired with over
33 years of combined military service with the rank of full Colonel in
the "Illinois Air National Guard". Also
included is a moving poem his wife wrote after she received the MIA
notice and a letter from the only member of his crew that wasn't on
the plane with them the day they were shot down, in which he relates
his thoughts and feelings on what it felt like to lose the crew that
he had trained with for eight months. Many items of interest are
on this page.
Col. H. R. Spicer's famous speech given on October 31, 1944 to the POWs in North 2 compound that earned
him the death sentence from a German court. Also included is a
document from the United States Archives of an interview of Col.
Spicer concerning this event and his treatment by the Germans, dated
August 4, 1945.
Letters From Home - 2 new
letters added to this page. A father who lost his only child,
writes to a surviving crew member and a mother's heartfelt
letter to her son who she has not heard from in a very long time.
Ray Trombley - "Prune Face and The
Brow" is the haunting yet inspiring tale of how four flying school
classmates came to meet again in prison camp. And how two of them
teamed up to face and conquer with humor and guts the terrible
injuries each had suffered. Don't miss this one!
Daily Bulletin - for North Compound I
issued by Lt. Col. C. Ross Greening dated February 26, 1945.
This was issued at the beginning of the starvation period or "Hungry
March" as it was know to some of the POWs. It gives the reader
good insight into the conditions inside the camp.
Kenneth "Sam" Webster - At the start
of the second World War, Webster was working as a photo engraver at
Springfield's Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. A year later, he found
himself classified as an Army Air Corps pilot, even though he'd never
even been on a plane before. That hardly mattered to him. Days after
his 21st birthday Kenneth (Sam) Webster was re-baptized a terror
flieger. He was captured near Stuttgart and served his time in Luft
1. Many years later, he and his wife returned to Norwich, England
and to his crash site in Ameland where they were the honored guests of
the grateful towns. Did you ever wonder what happened to your parachute
after you were captured? Sam knows!
Bill Miller - is quite the
story-teller. In this excerpt from his book, A Letter To My
Grandchildren, he details his final mission, capture, several
visits to German air-raid shelters as a POW, Dulag Luft, and
finally life at Stalag Luft 1. He recounts many humorous POW "tales"
and was actually present at Col. Spicer's famous speech. Bill even
managed to slip Col. Spicer some fudge while Spicer was in the cooler
awaiting execution after his German court-martial.
Paul Canin - spent eight months
at Stalag Luft I as a prisoner of war. It was a dramatic and
impressionable period of his life and it has had a lasting affect on
him; for the good he believes. Learn what valuable life lessons he
learned from his experience as a prisoner of war in this beautifully
illustrated memoir. Paul was nicknamed "Remy" (short for Rembrandt)
by his fellow POWs.
Caleb Reeder- A P-47 fighter pilot tells a true "horror story" which results in
his imprisonment at Stalag Luft I. After enduring beatings by a
mob of angry citizens, the simple statement " Roosevelt made me"
seems to have saved him from a lynching party. This story
originally told in the book "Behind Barbed Wire" by Morris J. Roy.
Photos supplied by his son.
The Five Bodies Found after
liberation mystery solved. We finally learn the true story of
who they were and what happened to them.
Books on Stalag Luft IV - Five
books written by Joseph P. O'Donnell on Stalag Luft IV and the Death
March across Germany. Available for purchase from the author.
Photos of Stalag Luft IV -
In February 1945 approximately 1,500 Stalag Luft IV POWs were moved to
Stalag Luft I when the camp was evacuated due to the approaching
Russians. The POWs that were not sent to Stalag Luft I, were instead
sent on what has become known as the "Death March" or the "Black
March". They were made to march all over Germany in the bitter cold in
an effort to flee the advancing Russians. Here are some photos
of Stalag Luft IV which were taken in the summer of 1944.
- From the
American Ex-POW Bulletin. Obituary notices of Stalag Luft I
Elroy F. Wyman - was shot and
killed by a German guard on March 18, 1945. Here we have the
details of this event as told by his former roommates and a sketch of
him with a brief bio from the YMCA log book of Paul Canin.
The Caterpillar Club
- Information on club and obtaining a new membership and/or obtaining
replacement pins and membership cards. Also included is a little
history on the parachute.
John "Red" Morgan must be the only draft-classified 4-F
to serve with the air forces of three nations, fly 26 combat missions
with the RAF and the USAAF,
earn our country's highest decoration for valor, and spend 14 months
as a POW. This tough, tenacious Texan was truly an American Hero.
Ulrich Hausmann - was a German war
correspondent, a POW interrogator at Dulag Luft and himself a POW in
England. Here he shares some of his very interesting memories of Adolph Galland, Hermann Göring and his
own "home style" interrogation of 2
British POWs at Dulag Luft in several letters to
Richard M. Roper - a B-17 pilot
with 100th Bomb Group and POW at Stalag Luft I is added to our
"Kriegies" page. Includes a document signed while in the camp by Lt.
Col. Greening and Col. Zemke concerning
Kriegie Kraft Karnival to be held after the war.
The Saga of Murder, Inc. - A German Propaganda
Victory - Kenneth D. Williams ( a Stalag Luft
I POW) was shot down over Germany wearing a flight jacket
with “Murder, Inc.” written on the back. The Germans made much
propaganda out of this. Here is his story taken from the U.S. Air
Force Oral History Program.
Lt. Charles L. Early's story
and his wonderful, colorful
drawings of life at Stalag Luft I, from his YMCA Log Book.
Good Buddy Goes For Good Cause- Wherever you are, Good Buddy, Bill White’s got a
ate your cat about 56 years ago! It was
during what U.S. Prisoners of War in Germany’s Stalag Luft I called ‘Hungry
March’. The Red Cross parcel supply had stopped and the POWs trying to exist on
just the German rations were literally
starving in the camp.
List of POWs at Stalag Luft I-
A listing by last name of approximately 6,559 of the 8,939 prisoners
of war held at Stalag Luft I when it was liberated in May 1945.
Additional info includes the POW's home state and the compound held in
at Stalag Luft I
Wright, a lusty, crusty, fun-loving retired Air Force pilot, recently
reunited with his old plane-or at least parts of it: pieces of
windshield, some engine parts, a couple of 50 caliber bullets as big
as Cuban cigars-thanks to an extraordinary set of coincidences and a
young German man with a metal detector. A very interesting
well written story!!!
John H. "Jack" McCracken -
Jack was a "guest" at both Stalag Luft IV and Stalag Luft I. His
experiences are detailed in his book "For You Der Var Ist Oufer"
, now listed on our Books & Videos page. Postcards home and
Stalag Luft IV roommates are listed on this page.
The Bet at Barth - A WWII POW Christmas
story. Many bets were made on when the war would be over.
This is a true story about a bet that every POW at Stalag Luft I on
Christmas Day 1944 remembers! It brought hysterical laughter at
a much needed time and place.
Eyewitness - A researcher in Switzerland has found 2 German
eyewitnesses to my father's plane crash on November 26, 1944.
Read their accounts of the crash and see the sketch and map of the crash site sent to
me. The Roommates - A
listing of the POWs by rooms in the camp. We need your help on
this. Please check any memorabilia you may have for a listing of
your roommates and send to us at
or inquire about our regular mail address.
Alvin Millspaugh, the co-pilot of a B-24 in
the 15th Air Force, shares a story of his "scenic" tour of Europe after
being shot down on his 5th mission. He also shares his diary entry on the
"Day of Days" - May 1st - the liberation day for the POWs at Stalag Luft I.
- This page!
Hopefully it will help you locate new items added since your last
Document from our National Archives,
describing the address by the
Russian Red Army Commander to the people of Barth on May 9, 1945.
(It is important to note that Barth was part of the former GDR or
East Germany until unification.) Report , Photos and the Speeches of the recent Stalag Luft 1
Reunion and Conference held at the former Stalag Luft I campsite in Barth, Germany on September 8, 2001.
Hubert Zemke - An article by Oscar Richard
about the former Senior Allied Officer at Stalag Luft I, titled "A Man to
Remember". Col. Zemke was much admired by his fellow POWs.
Bill Kaplan - A mid-air collision between the lead
and deputy lead planes at the beginning of the bomb run leaves Bill as the sole
survivor of his crew. He is quickly captured and incarcerated and he
begins his long journey to Stalag Luft I. In the camp he has one of those
believe it or not episodes when he receives a letter from his mother.
John Kirkham - A bombardier / navigator with the
379th BG flying on his 35th mission crash lands in a muddy field after plane is
hit by flak. He is captured and sent to solitary confinement in Dulag Luft
then off to Stalag Luft I - North III Compound. Photos, telegrams, letters
from War Department, documents and excerpts from his YMCA diary.
Irwin Stovroff - Flying as navigator on The
Passion Pit, he is shot down on his last mission (35th). During his
interrogation at Dulag Luft, he learns that his German interrogator remembers
him as his former newspaper boy in Buffalo, NY!
Bert Markle - Escape from Stalag Luft I -
fascinating true story of his escape with two other POWs from Stalag Luft I,
their recapture the following day and imprisonment in a Gestapo prison for 3
weeks prior to being sent to Stalag Luft III.
Swartz - A complete copy of his YMCA issued diary, which he used to
write an ongoing letter to his parents describing everything about the camp and his
life in the camp. Includes drawings, poetry, roommates listings and the
Easter sermon given in 1945 shortly before their liberation.
Chuck Blaney - shares his interesting story of being shot down by a ME-262
while bombing a target near Hamburg. He and his crew were POWs at Stalag
Luft I and were recently reunited at a 50th anniversary reunion celebration
set up by a German who saw the bomber crash while he was serving in the
Hitler Youth Corps.
Cyrus Manierre - This is one of the stranger stories of luck and
coincidence to come out of WW2. An OSS agent (spy and saboteur) who manages
to convince the Germans he is a downed airman after his capture and is sent
to Stalag Luft I. He finds a big surprise when he arrives at the camp.
While in the camp he works as Lt. Col. Gabreski adjutant and then finds
himself the lucky winner of the random drawing to box with
Col. Zemke after
liberation while awaiting their evacuation!
Clair Cline and the Prison Camp
Violin - photo and story-- He carved it of rough-hewn bed slats with a
penknife traded for Red Cross rations. But would it play? Every POW at
Stalag Luft I remembers this violin and knew this story - truly
inspirational - you will be amazed!