||John With His
Name Middle Initial:
3422 ARTHUR ST
& State: PHILADELPHIA, PA
590 FA 106 DIV
Captured: ST. VITH
Held In: STALAG 9B, BAD ORB
Long Interned: 104 days
/ repatriated: liberated
at Capture: 19
Received: MEDALS TO COME..
after War: SALES CLERK
Mr. Crawford's career in the Army began December 23,1943 at New
Cumberland, PA where he was
processed for six days and classified as a clerk. He then went to Fort
Brag, N.C. for 17 weeks of basic training. After Basic, some of his
group went to Kentucky. He was sent to Attleboro, Indiana. He became
part of 106th Division assigned to 590th Field Artillery. After this
training, he went to Fort Miles Standish, and later left Boston for
England and landing in Liverpool. After three weeks, he left on a L.S.T
for Roen, France.
On Dec.10th, 1944 Jack and his crew arrived at their position relieving
the 2nd Division. Their positions had already been set up for them. It
was quiet for a few days. They seemed to become confused, moving to
different positions. On the morning of December 19th they were shelled
heavily. They were in a valley surrounded by trees. As John came out of
the woods, his unit was told to throw down their guns.
Luckily John ran back and got his overcoat as they marched for three
days in the bitter cold. At night they slept huddled together to keep
warm. They were finally packed into boxcars for more traveling. John's
group was bombed one night by their Allies who did not know they were in
the cars. Their Sergeant managed to climb out open the doors and they
all scrambled for cover until it was over.
On Christmas day, they arrived at their destination, Stalag 9B, Bad Orb,
Germany. Johnís first meal was grass soup. Later they received potato
soup, which was a little better.
There was very little food, showers were few, and body lice were
plentiful. After a shower, they put the same clothes back on. The toilet
was a hole in the floor.
One night a German guard was killed in the kitchen. John and others were
forced to line up outside until the man was discovered. John got the flu
for about a week and was sent to the hospital barracks. Some of the guys
gave him extra blankets for his suffering.
John's group received a few Red Cross packages, which were divided up
among the men. One man used to sing the Don McNeil Breakfast Club theme
song to cheer the group up. Johnís camp was finally liberated on April
2nd, 1945, the day after Easter. John stayed for another week to help
out, during which time he was asked to guard a couple of the German
guards. They were older men and really scared.
On Johns return they came back through Camp Lucky Strike where there was
plenty of food waiting for them and sailed from LeHarve, France for the
U.S.A. to Camp Kilmer and later to Ft. Dix, N.J. were John received a 60
day furlough and later returned to Asheville, N.C. and then to Camp
Swift, Texas, where he was discharged on November 23rd, 1945.
He later married Theresa (Heisse) on September 11, 1948 and had 3 sons
and 3 daughters. They now have 3 grandsons and 5 granddaughters.