In 1998 I wrote a history
of my P.O.W. experiences for my children and grandchildren and I recently
updated it. For 55 years I didn't talk about it and I forgot so much
that I had to spend considerable time trying to put everything together.
I arrived in France on December 1, 1944, we went to a
front line position I was captured 5 days after that we were the youngest
division with an average age of 22, with no experience and
were deployed over an area four times the normal distance in a supposedly
I along with several thousand others were captured near
St. Vith. I was captured on Dec. 19 late in the afternoon in the
village of Bleialf. We slept in a churchyard that night and the next
day we were walked to Gerolstein. In zero weather and 8 - 10 inches
of snow. During which time I had my feet initially frozen.
Subsequently we were loaded into box cars and under extreme cold and no
heat taken to Limburg. All of this is documented in the P.B.S.
documentary titled, "Berga Soldiers of Another War". We remained in
the R.R. cars 60 men to a car and were taken to Mulhburg (Stalag VB) where
we were interrogated, picture taken, deloused and back into box cars. At
this point groups were formed and sent in different direction depending
primarily on rank. I remained 8 days in the R.R. cars and we had a
total of one loaf of bread and 8 ounces of cheese per man to eat for the
entire trip. We arrived in Furstenburg (Stalag-IIIB) on January 7.
The next three weeks were the first and only time I slept in a barracks
during my entire capture.
On January 31 we started a forced walk to Luckenwalde (Stalag-
IIIA). On February 7 we arrived at Luckenwalde and found no
barracks. So they put us in carnival type tents, 700 men to a tent,
two waters faucets for 2800 men. We slept on the wet cold ground.
Here I stayed until on May 3rd, when I took off to find Americans. I
wandered through Russian held Germany and finally found them 3 days later
at Wittenburg and for me "the war was over".
The Germans and I considered myself a P.O.W. The
USA Army and my family had me as M.I.A. Dec. 19, 1944 to May 5, 1945.
I never received a letter nor package overseas the one POW letter I wrote
Feb. 45 was delivered in March 46 after I was home.