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memorial

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Jack Madlung Alexandria, LA 1944 before going overseas Jack Madlung Displaying his WWII Medals. These medals were presented in a special presentation by his daughter Cherie at his 80th birthday after Jack Madlung received his Purple Heart.

Bio:

Jack R. Madlung enlisted in the Army 1-14-41 and was transferred to the Army Air Corp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1944 his B17 Bomber Crew were transferred from Alexandria (LA) Army Air Field to Nuthampstead (air base) England (about 35 miles north of London).

  On their 12th mission (11-21-44) to bomb the Luena Oil Fields near Meersberg, Germany, their B17 was hit by FW 190 German Fighters. They bailed out and were captured immediately. Jack was ordered to swim across the Saale River by a large number of Gestapo. He was taken to Stalag Luft IV prison camp near Gros-Tychow in Poland (by crowded boxcars). They were kept in near starving conditions until they were evacuated 2-6-45 to escape the advancing Russians. They began a forced march (some refer to it as "Death March" because so many lives were lost because of starvation and very little medical help). They were liberated when the prison guards surrendered to U.S. troops at Halle. Jack had gone from 188 lbs. to 119 lbs. and had suffered very much at the hands of the German Army. He was wounded by flak when his plane was hit. He did not receive the Purple Heart until 50 years later because records could not be found. Friend Eugene Minchoff, Quarryville, PA who was on this mission, verified this to authorities. Gene is now the only living member of this crew.

Jack was a member of the 398th Bomb Group that was based at Nuthampstead in England. Allen Ostrom, Editor of Flak News (Seattle, WA), had included Jack and his wife Jean on many returns to Nuthampstead where they have made many wonderful friends. The Barkers’ (Tony and Greta) farm at Nuthampstead was the scene of our first tour where they held a 40’s style barn dance and our host families were Fred and Olive Fish and their daughter Lesley and Coral and Don Simpson (Don now deceased), and we have continued these friendships since 1988. An England group known as "Friends of the 398th" always make our stay very enjoyable.

  Jack was a charter member of "Indiana Chapter of Ex POW’s" started by Leonard Rose, National Jr. Vice Commander and a good friend to all the Ex-POW’s. The meetings he holds every other month in Indianapolis should be attended by anyone that would like to hear what it was like when these men were taken prisoners. Their stories should give us pause to realize what they mean to all of us.

  Jack was also a member of Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, Murat Shrine, Kiwanis's, American Legion, DAV, and Past Patron of the Eastern Star. Also 44 year member of First Presbyterian of Monticello where he was past deacon.

  He married Jeanetta "Jean" Pond 1-1-46. Daughters, Dr. Nancy Zeller, ECU, Greenville, N.C., Cherie Ross, Indianapolis; and son Randy Madlung, Monticello, Indiana. Grandsons Derek Madlung, Christian Zeller, Los Angeles and John Zeller, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Jean Madlung  has also included the layout of the the Memorial and the prison camp in which he was held in, to see this
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FLYING FORTRESS CREW AT ALEXANDRIA (LA) ARMY AIR FIELD. Front row, left to right: Second Lt. Kennth L Buzza, Second Lt. John G Blythe, Second Lt. Irving B Porton, Second Lt. Michael J Cingle. Second row , left to right: Sgt. George V Spraggins, Sgt. John A McMenamin, Sgt. David G Morgan, Sgt. Jack Madlung, Sgt. Eugene P Minchoff, Sgt. Walter E Suggett. Jack Madlung passed away Dec. 27, 1998.

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