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.
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
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.
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
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.