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John J Blanck (1915-1976)

John J Blanck (1915-1976) 179th Infantry, 45th Division, POW Germany from November 28, 1944 to May 8, 1945

John Blanck (ASN 42104261) served with Company F, 179th Infantry, 45th Division in Italy and France from August to November 1944.

John was captured by the German Army at Mulhausen, Bas Rhin, France on November 28, 1944. He was processed at Limburg am Lahn, Germany transit camp (Stalaf XIIA) before being sent to Stala IVB in Muhlberg, Germany (near Dresden). Subsequntly he was transferred to Stalag IVA which was a work camp with many different work contingents scattered around Dresden, including part of what is now the Czech Republic.

He was German POW #211261 until May 8, 1945 (when the war ended in Europe).

John was 29 years old and married with two children when he was captured and incarcerated for six months starting in November 1944. The war, which had started in September 1939, was winding down in Europe. The German army was stretched to capacity. Supplies were limited. The number of Allied POWs in German camps was extremely high due in part to soldiers captured at the Battle of the Bulge. The POWs captured late in the war suffered from the lack of adequate food. In addition, it was one of the coldest winters on record in Europe.

The POWs in the German camps suffered terribly from malnutrition, lack of heat, lack of hot water to bath, lack of clean cloths to change into. They were often forced to do manual labor in factories, on farms and in mines. They were, in fact, slave laborers. By the end of the war most of them were skin and bones.

After liberation they were offered several weeks or months of physical rehabilitation and then they quietly slipped back into their civilian lives hardly ever talking about their POW experience.

They are "unsung heroes".

The writer, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was a prisoner of war in Germany. He made references to his experience in several of his novels including: Slaughterhouse Five, Bluebeard, and Timequake.

In recent years several good books on American POWs in Germany have appeared. Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five by Ervin Szpek, Jr. and Frank J Idzikowski (2008) is the recollections of 150 American POWs held in Slaughterhouse Five in Dresden in January and February 1945. Soldiers and Slaves, by Roger Cohen tells the story of 350 American POWs held in Berga Prison Camp in Eastern German in the winter of 1944-45. This camp was known as Stalag IXC.

John spoke little of his experience as a POW. US Government records indicate that he was assigned to Stalag IVB, Muhlberg. His few personal recollections, stamps on the back of three photos of his wife and children and his diary indicate that he also spent time in Stalag IV A, Hohnshein, and Stalag IV C, Brux, (now Most, Czech Republic). His diary indicates that he was in Krasny Les, Czech Republic in early May 1945. I believe that this means he was at Stalag IVC Brux when the war ended.

The diary that he kept at the end of the war indicates that he went through Dresden sometime during the war. On the way back to the allied lines he passed through or near Gera, Freiburg, Dresden, Linbach (Leinbach?), and Chemnitz.

He left Germany from the airfields at Erfurts and went to Rheims, France. From Rheims he went to La Havre which is the last place he mentioned in his diary.

On his return to the States he spent over two months in the Hotel Dennis in Atlantic City on "rehabilitation and recovery". He was discharged from Fort Dix, N.J.

On this page I have attempted to tell the story of John Blanck and some of the POWs who shared his experience.


A Brief History of John's Service

  • Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
  • US enters war in Europe, November 1942
  • John received his notice to register for a physical examination from Local Board No. 9 in Hoboken on November 13, 1942, Address 2 Potter Place, Weehawken, New Jersey
  • He received his 1-A Classification January 6, 1943, address 2 Potter Place Weehawken
  • His son, Dennis, was born June 5, 1943
  • Date of induction into the Army, January 14, 1944.
    U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 Record: John J Blanck, Birth Year: 1915, Race: White, citizen, Nativity State or Country: New Jersey, State: New Jersey, County or City: Hudson, Enlistment Date: 14 Jan 1944, Enlistment State: New Jersey, Enlistment City: Newark, Branch: No branch assignment, Branch Code: No branch assignment, Grade: Private, Grade Code: Private, Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law, Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men), Source: Civil Life, Education: 4 years of high school, Civil Occupation: Laboratory Technician, Motion Picture or Shipping Clerk, Marital Status: Single, without dependents*, Height: 06 Weight: 000
    *John was married in June 1942 and his son, Dennis, was born in June 1943.
  • Date of entry into active service, February 4, 1944, Newark, New Jersey.
  • According to his discharge papers, John spent four months in basis training: this would have taken him to June, 1944 — Camp uncertain
  • Photos of him in uniform, clearly taken in the States, are dated April 15, 1944
  • His son, Tom, was born June 9, 1944
  • John was shipped to the European Theater of Operations on July 27, 1944 and arrived in Europe on August 12, 1944. July 27th 1944 was a Thursday. August 12th was a Saturday. The trip took two weeks and two days.
  • He spent from August 12 to October 2 in Italy. The Italian campaign was basically over by the time he arrived.
  • He was transfered from Italy to France between October 2 and October 7, 1944.
  • According to the letter from the War Department in March 1945, he was captured near "Wissembourg", France (Lorraine) on November 28, 1944. I beleive that he was actually captured in Muhlhausen (Mulhausen, Bas-Rhin), near Bouxwiller (about 20 km west north west of of Haguenau and 40 km south west of Wissembourg).
  • He was processed as a prisoner of war through Stammlager (Main Camp) at Limburg an der Lahn, Germany on December 2, 1944
  • He was moved from Limburg an der Lhan to IV B (4B) at Muhlberg near Dresden, Germany. Subsequently he was assigned to Stalag IVA and was in Czechoslovakia when the war ended in May 1945. See more on this below.
  • On December 15, 1944, his wife, Alice, received a telegram that he was missing in action
  • Three months later, Alice received a letter, dated March 9, 1945 that John was missing in action near "Wissenbourg" on November 28, 1944.
  • Alice received a telegram stating that he was a prison of war on March 21, 1945.
  • From his time as a POW John had several pieces of paper including a small orange card.
    On the front of the card: "311261 [his German POW #] IV B [Stalag IV B in Muhlberg] C-28 [unknown] BLANCK, john, (stempel der firma) [company stamp] grun u. billfinger (vorname) [unknown (first name)]
    On the back of the card: "(vom) 1.3 (bis) 31.3.45 [From 1.3 to 31.3.45, i.e. from 1 March to 31 March, 1945, I do not know what this refers to.]
  • There are three small photographs of Alice, Dennis and Tom that survived from John's days as a POW. Tom is perhaps a month old, so the picture was probably taken in August, 1944. In Alice's handwriting on the back in pencil: "John J Blanck 311261". Stamped on the back in purple ink: "Kgt.M.Stammlager IV A Kompaniebereith 5./393 Bittau"
  • The Germans surrendered May 7, 1945 and news of the surrender reached the world on May 8th which was declared VE Day (Victory in Europe Day)
  • On May 7, 1945 John and other prisoners left the POW camp under German guard and headed for the American lines. A day or so later the German guards vanished and John and his friends continued on to the America lines.
  • On May 11th they saw their first America troops and were picked by by American trucks headed west.
  • By May 16th they were in Le Harvre waiting for transport to The States.
  • John left Europe on June 2, 1945
  • He arrived stateside on June 12, 1945. He had been gone a little under a year, and had spent five plus months as a POW. He went from 155 pounds at the time of his induction to 85 pounds at the time he left from the POW camp.
  • John returned to The States on the Admiral Benson arriving in New York on June 12, 1945. Blanck, John J, Pvt, 4- (Lib) #311261 #42104261 179 Inf 9 May 45 Iden, $50.00 2,500 Fr, MOS 745, 12 Cooper Place Weehawken, NJ, 12 June 1945, Admiral Benson, New York City, Movement Orders, Prisoner of War
  • On June 15, 1945 he was assigned to the Hotel Dennis in Atlantic City, New Jersey for 71 days of "rehabilitation and recovery" to finish August 26, 1945"
  • Last Report date: June 26, 1945
  • He got his separation papers from the Army on August 17, 1945
  • NARA POW Record: 42104261, BLANCK JOHN J, GRADE, ALPHA, Private, GRADE CODE 8, Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, SERVICE CODE, 1, ARMY Infantry, ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10, DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 26 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13


Induction into the Army

I was surprised that John was drafted when he had a wife and child.

Lee Kennett in G.I. THE AMERICAN SOLDIER IN WORLD WAR II, says that marriage and children only carried weight if they preceded the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. After November 1942, when the US was also engaged in the war in Europe, the only real deferments were physical or if the potential draftee "was essential to the community or to the war effort"*

"Towards the end of the war the Army ran desperately short of combat infantrymen."

Lee Kennett, G.I. THE AMERICAN SOLDIER IN WORLD WAR II

Early in the war most infantrymen were young bachelors in the 20s. As the war progresses older bachelors were called up. Family men were largely protected until the last three months of 1943 when the Draft Board was forced to call up fathers.*

John had his draft physical on November 13, 1942. He received his 1-A classification on January 6, 1943. He was inducted into the army on January 14, 1943. He was allowed the typical two week furlough to get his affairs in order and reported for duty on February 4, 1944.

A private's pay was $50.00 a month

*Lee Kennett, G.I. THE AMERICAN SOLDIER IN WORLD WAR II


Basic Training

According to his discharge papers, John was in Basis Training for "4 months" starting February 4, 1944.

At the beginning of the war, basic training was by whole divisions at one time. By the time John entered the service basic training had moved to a program of readying replacements for already existing divisions.

Training by divisions had taken a year: 17 weeks of basic and advanced training, 13 weeks of unit training, 14 weeks of combined arms training and large-scale exercises, 8 weeks of final training.

Replacement training took from eight to seventeen weeks.

I do not know where John did his basic training. Since he was discharged from the army from Fort Dix, N. J. it is possible that he was inducted at Fort Dix.

Denis Blanck wrote in December 2005:

"John told me that he did basic training at Ft. Dix. He also went to advanced training in Pensacola, FL because he was scheduled to be sent to North Africa when he was deployed overseas. He also told me that he wound up going to Italy via ship across the Mediterranean Sea. The ship was very crowded, men being transported could not go "up top" for fresh air, and many became sea sick. He did not become sea sick and ate lots of eggs that the sick troopers could not stomach."
Before shipping overseas a soldier typically had a ten day furlough. This would have given John a chance to meet his month old son, Tom, and to visit with his year old son, Denis, who he had not seen since he was 8 months old. John would not to see them again for a year.

John served with Company F, 179th, 45th Infantry in Italy and France.


Soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, during WWII

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

John Service Pictures

John is second from the left. This picutre is dated April 15, 1944.

This picutre is dated April 15, 1944.

This picutre is dated April 15, 1944.

These two pictures are not dated. They were obviously taken at the same place, the curb and fence are similar in both pictures.

Going Overseas

John shipped out for Europe on July 27, 1944. He arrived in Italy on 12 August 1944.


John's Service in Italy

John arrived in Europe in mid August 1944. He was in Italy from mid August until the beginning of October 1944 when he was shipped to France.

I was in Caserta with my sons, Damian and Toby, in the spring of 1974. When I returned to the States, John told me that he had been in Caserta during the war. We had a discussion on the amazing fountains at the Palazzo Reale in Caserta, some of which are pictured below.
Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck
Caserta, Italy, Pallazzo Reale

The Allied Air Forces Headquarters were in Caserta during the war.

I don't remember if John told me what he was doing in Caserta.

"The Reggia di Caserta served as a rest area, headquarters for the American 5th Army and 15th Army and the center for Allied Command at various times during the war. In fact, on April 29, 1945, German forces in Italy surrendered to the Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean in a 17-minute ceremony at the palace."

Caserta

John also said that he had been in Monte Cassino during the war.
"In World War II, the hill of Monte Cassino was part of a German defensive line guarding the approaches to Rome. Montecassino became the target of assault after assault by Allied troops, and was finally destroyed by air bombardment. The hill was captured at dreadful loss of life by the Polish Army and Italian refugees. After the war, the abbey was rebuilt based on the original plans."

Monte Cassino

I do not know at what point John was assigned to company F, 179th Infantry, 45th Division. But I believe the replacements for the 179th Infantry were trained for mountain combat in the Appinines north east of Naples which would explain why he was in Caserta and Montecassino.

While John remained in Italy, for whatever reason, the 179th finished up there and moved on to France.

The 179th Infantry in Italy and France

The first campaign of World War II for the 179th was the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943. By July 16 they were advancing towards the northern coast of Sicily and the city of Messina. By August 1943 Sicily had been captured by the Allies.

In September 1943 the 179th was part of "Operation Avalanch" at Salerno, Itlay. The 179th was envolved in heavy fighting against the Germans near Eboli. The Germans were tightly entrenced and the weather was bad from late Sepember to November. The US troops were withdrawn from the area in mid January 1944.

The 179th took part of the landing on Anzio Beach in January 1944. By spring German resistance in the southern Apennines was broken and the American army reached Rome by June.

The 179th suffered heavy casualties during these campaigns. As the rest of the American troops took Rome and marched up Italy, the 45th Infantry (which included 179th Infantry) pulled back from the advance. From June through August they trained in the "Naples area" for the invasion of southern France.

The 179th left Italy for France on August 12, 1944; the same day John arrived in Italy. They landed near Sainte-Maxime on August 15, 1944.

The records indicate that John was not shipped to France until early October, 1944.

The soldiers who did go to France met with almost no opposition and advanced quickly north. By mid 45th Infantry had taken Grandvillers. Then things slowed down. Time was needed for supplies and replacements to catch up with the soldiers at the front.

A new offensive started October 15 as the 179th entered Bruyeresand and moved on to Brouvelieures.

The Vosges mountains were heavily wooded and heavily mined. The Germans were entrenched and the fighting was "hand to hand". To make matters the fall and winter of 1944-45 was one of the coldest and wettest on record. Everyone was knee deep in mud. Soldiers suffered from flu and physical exhaustion.

The campaigns in Italy and France had also taken their toll in dead, wounded and captured.

"Company F, of late the 179th hard luck company, although whittled down to half strength, smashed through the woods to sieze a group of buildings south of Mortagne, and after fierce house-to-house fighting, secured it at 1010 October 24."

(179th Infantry, The Story of a Regiment

The attack bogged down as the month of October ended. It was time to regroup and rest the troops.

John's Service in France

The 45th Infantry, of which the 179th was part, had been fighting the Germans in the Vosges Mountains in France from September 24, 1944 to early November 1944.

John (and other replacements) left Italy on October 2 and arrived in France on October 7, 1944. Their arrival must have been relatively calm as the area had been taken by the Americans in August of 1944.

John did not join the troops at the front until the beginning of November. John may have been with replacements that arrived as early as October 15th, 1944.

"In the 2 day period of Oct.15-16, 299 replacements were recieved by the 179th Infantry, badly needed replacements for the tired and depleted line companies." (REF, 179th Inf Regt. A.A.R. Oct, 1-31, 1944, part 2, (War Journal), information sent by Danny Lehan, May 2014)
I do not know what he did during the interim. Part of the time must have involved in getting from the landing beaches to the front. Supplies and troops were moved by truck — I am not sure how long it would have taken.

John was in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 179th Infantry. I requested the "morning reports" for F Company for the month of November 1944 from the National Archives and Records Administration. I was told that the company level reports were incorporated into a higher level report known as the "after actions reports" written the morning after the events of the previous day from a compilation of the company level reports. After that report was written the company level reports were destroyed.

The 179th, The story of the Regiment by Warren P. Punsell published in 1946 was also referenced for the month of November 1944.

1 November

"The 1st Battalion patrolled through the woods East of the front line. At 1200 Company B reinforced, with chemical mortars in support, attacked, LA SALLE. The company engaged the enemy in a small arms fight in the West end of town, but withdrew to facilitate the impending relief. This relief, of the 2nd Battalion by the 1st, was completed at 1700, with the former unit moving to an assembly area in the vicinity of FRAIPERTUIS (245702). The 3rd Bn, continued to patrol the front, had several sharp small arms encounters with the enemy dug in forward of the Bn positions. At 1700 Company K effected the relief of company A 157th RCT, on the Bn left flank."

(WAR JOURNAL
179th Infantry Regiment
Month of November 1944
NARA)

"On November 1, after Baker had driven into the village of La Salle, the RCT pulled up to facilitate its impending relief. Almost at the next natural barrier, the Meurthe River, Gen. Patch was now prepared to rest the old-timers and try out new divisions under his command prior to launching the next major operation"

(179th Infantry, The Story of a Regiment)

On November 1, the 2nd Battalion of the 179th was moved by truck to Baccarat. The 179th remained there until November 5 when they were moved west of Epinal where they rested for two weeks starting on November 7.
"Billeted indoors out of the increasingly cold and heavy downpours, the troops got daily baths, new clothes and equipment. The training schedule was light; drilling, physical conditioning, firing of weapons.

The doughboys were grateful for the chance to sit in warm rooms and relax. There were plenty of books to read. There were nightly movies, "B" and "Z" pictures —maybe the base sections saw the better films —but any picture was better than none at all. And for the GIs with Wanderlust there was Epinal—if you had a pass and the patience to sweat out a regiment of MPs on every corner—strictly a rear echelon town, now, with hundreds of troops wandering aimlessly around the streets in their dress uniforms and overseas caps.

(179th Infantry, The Story of a Regiment)

November 2: The After Action Report of 2 November concurs that at 1200 the 2nd Battalion "moved by motor to the vicinity of BACCARAT"......."arriving at 1615"........"no enemy was met during these operations"..... "The RCT* mission was to protect the bridgehead and defend BACCARAT in the event of an enemy counterattack"...... (WAR JOURNAL
179th Infantry Regiment
Month of November 1944
NARA)

*Regimental Combat Team

November 3: (November 2) The 2nd Battalion continuously patrolled North and East from its defense positions. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 4: (November 3) The 2nd Battalion occupied the high ground Northeast of BACCARAT..."Its lines forming a strong defensive semi-circle." Foot patrols "found no evidence of the enemy". (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 5: Still no sign of the enemy for the 2nd Battalion. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 6: (November 5) The 2nd Battalion was relieved at 1730 by the 397th Infantry and began moving to its bivouac area in the vicinity of UXEGNEY. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

7 November - 21 November: ...."The entire 179th Infantry had closed in its rest area West of EPINAL."

"After all members of his command had cleaned up, showered, and been refitted, the C. O. instituted a Regimental training schedule. This program stressed close order drill, physical conditioning, military courtesy, unit tactical problems and the firing of weapons. Units were also afforded an opportunity to inspect the new M4A3 tank. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

John's son, Tom, says that John did mention Epinal.

The rest also gave the troops the opportunity to get to know the new replacements.

22 November (November 21) Preperations were made to return to combat. During the day the 179th assembled in the 2nd Battalion area. By 1530 the 1st and 3rd Battalions were on their way. The 2nd Battalion was not mentioned. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 23: (November 22) The 179th mission was to seize MUTZIG and the high ground in the vicinity of MOLSHEIM and to cut the road "net" at MUTZIG. The three battalions moved via WASSELONNE, WESTHOFFEN, BALBRONN, BERGBIETEN and DANGOLSHEIM toward MUTZIG. At 2130 the 2nd was advised to move into WESTHOFFEN behind the 3rd and establish road blocks west of BALBRONN and East of TRAEHEIM. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 24 (Actually Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 23) The 2nd Battalion carried out on its mission to establish road blocks. The 3rd Battalion met with "stiff resistance". (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 25 The 2nd and 3rd Battalions advance "with good results". F and G Companies captured STILL at 1530. Bt 1715 the 2nd Battalion "had established a road block at the blown bridge 736927." A "Buzz bom" landed in WESTHOFFEN destroying about 15 buildings "and causing considerable damage but only light casualties". (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 26: The 2nd Battalion was the "Regimental Reserve". (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 27: The 1st and 3rd Battalions saw action with the Germans. The 2nd Battalion was not mentioned. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 28: (November 27) ""F" Company, attacking from ZUTZENDORF, was slowed by fierce small arms mortar and tank fire South of MUHLHAUSEN." In the afternoon Company F was assisted by company E in the attack south of MUHLHAUSEMN. The plans for the next day called for the 1st Battalion to take over the occupation of MUHLHAUSEN while the 2nd and 3rd continued their "spearhead".

"Its mission was to clear UHRWILLER, take the Regimental objective and move to the high ground at 900325 North of ENGWILLER, and, if successful, continue across the ROTHBACH River North to 904342. (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

November 29: (Tuesday November 28) This is the day John was captured. The 2nd Battalion "jumped off before daylight"" and moved towards the high ground at "9232" - F Company on the flank of G Company. The Gremans concentrated on MUHLHAUSEN "firing several rounds of tank and SP fire on the town....and at 1050, the enemy attached MUHLHAUSEN from the North. The attack was broken up, and in addition to several PWS taken, 25-40 enemy were killed." (WAR JOURNAL 179th Infantry Regiment Month of November 1944 NARA)

The report does not mention that 28 members of Company F were captured by the Germans on November 28 at Mulhausen. See more on the capture below.

"Casualties" reported for the period (November 1944 179th Infantry) were:

"KIA [Killed in Action]: 23 EM [Enlisted Men]; WIA [Wounded in Action]: 8 officers and 110 EM; MIA [Missing in Action]: 34 EM; SK: 6 officers and 492 EM; and Injured: 1 officer and 14 EM. During the same time 6 officers and 128 enlisted replacements were received by the 179th Infantry; 19 officers and 349 EM returned to duty (including all battle and non battle casualties) and 10 more officers were added to the officer strength of the command through battlefield promotions."
The next campaign was called "Rhineland". This is the only campaign listed on John's discharge papers. A Brief Outline of 45th Infantry Division WW II History says of the Rhineland Campaign:
"Rhineland, 15 September, 1944-21 March, 1945:

Breaking out of the bridge head, the Division took the strongly defended city of Epinal on 24 September, crossed the Moselle River and entered the western foothills of the Vosges Mountains, taking Rambervillers on 30 September, and crossing the Mortagne River on 23 October. After a short rest period, the 45th, on 25 November, attacked the forts Kaiser Wilhelm built to protect the Alsace Regions north of Mutzig, crossed the Zintzel River and advanced through the Maginot Line. From 2 January to 16 February, 1945, the Division was in defensive positions along the Moder River. The 45th again pulled back for a rest period before smashing through the Siegfried Line on 17 March."

5,255 United States military dead, who lost their lives in the campaigns across northeastern France to the Rhine during World War II are buried in a military cemetery near Epinal above the Moselle River at the foothills of the Vosges Mountains.

.
The old Maginot Line, Yank, the Army Weekly Victory Edition 1945

Note The Maginot Line was a series of defensive concrete fortifications build by the French to protect the country by invasion by Germany from the east. See Military History Online)


Moving through the forrest was a "slow cruel push for the infantry" - the Army Weekly Victory Edition 1945


Undated, unidentified GIs in forrest.

Photos from the 45th Infantry Campaigns World War II can be seen at S France and Alsace and Germany

179th Infantry Regiment, The Story of A Regiment gives a brief day by day account of the Regiments exploits. Company F of the 179th Infantry (which formed part of the 2nd Battalion) is not necessarily mentioned every day.

  • November 22, 1944: "The Regiment convened" at Cirey on the night on November 22.

  • November 23, 1944:
    "The next morning the Regiment moved by motor to the forward assembly area, Romanswiller. Here, directly behind the present front lines, the 179th closed in with its supporting artillery, attached TD's and tanks."

  • November 24, 1944: The 2nd Battalion (minus Company G) blocked roads around Mutzig against counter attack.

  • November 25, 1944: The 2nd Battalion captured Dinsheim and Company F, in particular, captured Still.

  • November 26, 1944: As the rest of the 179th began to move Bouxwiller, the "2nd Battalion was held in Regimental reserve".

  • November 27, 1944: "The 45th threw all three combat units into the line abreast". (This included the 179th division.)

  • November 28, 1944:
    "Renewing the push with dawn on November 28, the 179th committed all three assault battalions."
    Company F passed through Schillerdorf
    ...."to tackle Muhlhausen. But "F" was held by fierce mortar, tank and small arms fire the Germans were throwing from town.

    Jumping off again that afternoon, the 179th companies continued to leapfrog each other, leaving reserve companies to mop up and occupy towns immediately behind the attacking forces...... F and E storming the village from the south supported by tanks and TD's. Savage enemy fire and house to house resistance met the attackers, but the charging infantrymen finally drove the Germans out of Muhlhaussen by 20:00."

Note: Mulhausen, Bas-Rhin is a small village near Bouxwiller and should not be confused with the city of Mulhouse in the Haut-Rhin of France, close to the Swiss German border.


In April 2014 Danny Lehan wrote with additional specific information about the 179th Infantry's activities between November 28 and 29th. His uncle Joe Lehan was in B Co. 179th Infantry.

Both the 45th Division and the 103rd Division didn't reach Wissembourg until at least Dec. 16th, 1944.

The 45th Inf. Div. and the 103rd Inf. Div. reached Wissembourg on Dec. 14th and 13th 1944, respectively. They both dispute who was the first to enter Germany on Dec. 15th, 1944. Warren P. Munsell, the Author of "The Story of a regiment" (The 179th Infantry Regiment) never mentions Dec. 1st or 2nd 1944 when he writes about the 179th moving through Muhlhausen, and even though he's correct in the directions they moved he's mistaken as to distance. G co. 179th, didn't reach the high ground NE of Engwiller on Nov. 29th. He goes on to say that they were "2 KM. Southwest of Gumbrechtshoffen". This distance should say "2 Miles". They wouldn't reach the position he mentions until 10:00 on Dec. 2nd, 1944.

I'm using 4 different references plus veterans statements, and the co-ordinates ARE RECORDED on the same afternoon by the Units themselves. Munsell's recordation is a year after these battles took place. The co-ordinates also corroborate the hard battles that E, F, G, and B fought in on Nov. 29th-30th. G Co. itself was almost surrounded, and if F Co. hadn't moved NE of where they were to block the Germans, and G not fought like Hell all day to push them back, they would have been destroyed.

Danny Lehan

The B Co. 179th Inf. Morning Reports and I & R War Journal November 1944 indicate the following:
Nov. 28,1944: "Co. F had passed through Schillersdorf on the way to attack Muhlhausen ....... F and E companies storming the village from the South."

Nov. 28,1944: A Co. clears Menchoffen, C Co. moves to Schillersdorf. 1st Bn. attacks across the Moder River and seizes the R.R. junction, establishes roadblocks and patrols to Ingwiller to make contact with the 157th Inf. B Co. in vicinity of Uttwiller and Ingwiller France. (1st Platoon attached to A. Co. 179th Inf. at Ubermodern), a patrol contacted the 157th at Ingwiller.

Nov.29, 1944: B Co. 179th moved through Schillersdorf towards Muhlhausen, France and contacted the 2nd Battalion,179th Inf. and set up defenses on the West side of Town. B Co. moves to High Ground at 837295 to aid C Co, then relieves E Co. blocking Muhlhausen, which is attacked in the afternoon. Enemy shelling all Day.

Nov. 29th, 1944: G Co. 2nd Battalion, the Anti-Tank Platoon, in a Pre-Dawn Attack, were counterattacked by German Tanks & Self-Propelled Vehicles (S.P.s) at Muhlhausen, but by 09:15 Hours, G Co. had won the HIGH GROUND, Northeast of Engwiller. (The 2nd Battalion (2 BN.) composed Companies E, F, G, and H, and sometimes HQ. (Headquarters Co.,) It appears that G Co. was going forward to rescue F Co., when it was itself counter-attacked.)

Nov 30th 1944: G Co. fighting off "wave after wave" of German Infantry and tank attacks.

E Co. 179th appeared to be on the WEST OF MUHLHAUSEN.

I believe that F Co. 179th was on the Northeast or Southeast side of Muhlhausen, due to or because of the River that split the city.

As I stated, 2nd Battalion, 179th Inf. (which according to Danny usually included E, F, G, H, and sometimes HQ or heavy weapons) was in Battalion Reserve on Nov.26-27th.

Danny says:

This is consistent with the Rotation of the I BN. relief that the 45th started to use after the Anzio, Italy campaign, when it was realized that the men needed "some normalcy" from the madness of war. They usually were allowed showers/change of clothes, and 2-3 days of rest before going "back on the line". NOTE: Many men burned out psychologically from fatigue, skin ailments, trench foot, Pneumonia, nervous breakdowns etc. before the start of this program, and EVEN AFTER IT, MANY UNITS were stuck in long firefights lasting 3 or more days, with no way to relieve them or extract them. SO IN EFFECT, this system was only applicable IF THE UNIT WAS NOT ENGAGED TOO HEAVILY.

The "I & R War Journal" and the "Morning Reports" are daily records of the units involvement. The November 28th, 1944 & November 29, 1944 references are "B" Co., 179th Infantry, Morning Reports for November 1944.

The "I & R War Journal" was a daily report of the Infantry and Recon (Reconnoiter) patrol groups that went out each day to "Be the eyes and ears for the Infantry as they moved forward". Sometimes they are referred to as "The Pioneer Platoon". These groups had dangerous jobs, some were engineers, demolition experts planting or removing mines, or setting up microphone listening devices, for the Artillery Battalions, or setting up "O.P."`s Observation Posts in forward areas to spy on and report back about enemy movements. These records are official N.A.R.A. (National Archives and Records Administration) in College Park MD.

"The 179th Regiments' "goal", on November 27th, 1944 was: "to push through Muhlhausen to capture the high ground in the vicinity north of Engwiller, and then attack Gumbrectshoffen".

The German Army had been given an edict by Adolph Hitler to stall the Americans for 2 weeks, until the build-up for the "Attack in the West" could be launched. This the Germans were determined to do. The American Army wouldn't reach Engwiller until Dec.1, 1944. The fighting between Muhlhausen and Engwiller would last from Nov 28th to Dec.1-2nd 1944, with the help of several other groups. This was tough "City Fighting", literally from block to block and house to house, with both sides launching attacks from several different directions. REFS; SAME AS ABOVE.

1 BN. = 1st Battalion (A, B, C, & D Companies) 2 BN.= 2nd Battalion (E & H Companies & sometimes HQ.Co.) and 3 BN = 3rd Battalion (I, L, K, and M Companies)

Joe Lehan was injured twice during the war, on Oct 7,1944 on Hill 525, 2 miles S-SE of Grandvillers, France, when a tank or mortar round bounced up under his arm at the elbow. The second time was in Germany, with a few weeks to go, but Thank God he survived.

Danny Lehan is working on some research to help the family of Llewelyn Chilson to receive a Metal of Honor for his actions at Muhlhausen.
He literally stood in the street and killed over 100 Germans with a machine gun, wiping out anyone within range. Lt. Millwee Owens and other witnesses stated that he stood this post all day long. Lt. Owens was later wounded in this 3-4 Day battle and he returned to the U.S. THIS REFERENCE IS "The 45th Division History Online, The Biography of Llewelyn Chilson.
See T/Sgt Llewellyn Chilson Llewellyn Chilson was induced in 1942. He fought in the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 an in the landing at Anzio in January 1944.

According to Danny Lehan's reference to Company B report: Nov. 25, was wet and cloudy, Nov. 26th, rained and sleeted, but sunny in the afternoon, Nov. 27, cloudy and cold, Nov.28th, damp and cold, Nov 29 cloudy damp and cold, Nov. 30 rainy and cloudy.

Danny further reports that the woods were filled with german tanks, snipers etc. The Germans had orders to keep the Americans from entering Germany until December 14th so that Germany could launch the "Battle of the Bulge". The Germans referred to this offensive as Operation Watch on the Rhine (Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein). The name Battle of the Bulge was coined by the America press to describe the appearance of the Allied line as it bulged inward along the front.

Danny says that all of the pieces were not in place and F Company was isolated and left out on a limb.


Photos of the Rhineland Campaign

I bought the following photos of the Rhineland Campaign on ebay They were printed in China. I don't know where the originals come from. The photos were accompanied by the following text.

On September 15, 1944 the Allied forces that had invaded southern France came under control of the Supreme Commmander, Allied Expeditionary Force. This added the 6th Army Group to the forces opposing the enemy along the German frontier, making a total of forty eight Allied divisions in the European Theater of Operations. In a little over three months 6 June - September 1944, the Western allies had carried their offensives from the Normandy beaches to the wester boarder of Germany. During the next three months, little, if any progress was made. Many factors contributed to this general slowdown. As fall and winter approached, rain, mud and snow greatly hindered operations and made living condition extremely trying. The terrain became more difficult since many rivers and streams had to be crossed and rough, wooded, and hilly country were encountered. Enemy resistance stiffened as the Allies reached the German border. But more important than any other single factor was the problem of supplying the large forces which had advanced so rapidly that they had outrun their supplies.

An Internet search shows that this text comes from United States Army in World War II, Pictorial Record, War Against Germany ... By Center of Military History, 1994

"In November 1944 the Seventh Army was to make the main effort of the 6th Army group in an advance toward Sarrelbourg and Strasbourg."


"ENLISTED MAN WALKING THROUGH MUD in his bivouac area."

Another image was captioned: "In the Vosges mountains snow drifted over the roads, the temperature dropped below freezing, and the streams overflowed their banks."

The caption on anther image indicates that there was a snow storm on the morning of November 13, 1944.

Thanksgiving Day was November 23rd. GI huddled under tarps and gulped their rations.


Infantrymen of the 7th army advancing through the snow and sleet.
"Short of artillery ammunition,, the troops slugged it our with the enemy over difficult terrain and in increasingly bad weather, with the infantry carrying most of the burden."

Waiting is a shallow zig zag ditch.

The cold in Europe during the winter of 44-45
NARA Photos, WWII 113. "Chow is served to American Infantrymen on their way to La Roche, Belgium. 347th Infantry Regiment." Newhouse, January 13, 1945. 111-SC-198849.

See NARA World War II Photos

This image illustrates several aspects of the soldiers life in Europe in the winter of 1944. The weather was extremely wet with lots of snow and frozen rain. Keeping warm, keeping dry, getting enough calories to fight off the cold and to carry one's equipment were challenges for the infantrymen and for the POWs.


John's Capture, November 28, 1944

Sometime during the heat of battle outside of Muhlhaussen (Mulhausen, Bas-Rhin) on November 28, 1944 John and 27 others from the 179th were captured by the Germans.

According to a letter from the War Department dated March 9, 1945:

"Private Blanck was acting in the capacity of rifleman with a company in a defensive position near Wissembourgh, France. An enemy tank and three half-tracks attacked from the north and overran that part of the company area occupied by your husband's platoon, continuing the raid for about ten minutes. It was following this action that your husband's absence was noted, but a search of the area failed to disclose any trace of Private Blanck"

Most men at the front worried about being wounded or killed. Apparently few worried about being captured.

"Being taken prisoner is a terrific nervous shock" recalled a man captured by the Germans, "in the first place because it involves extreme personal danger during the minutes before the enemy decides to take you instead of keep shooting at you, and in the second place because you suddenly realize that by passing from the right side of the front to the wrong, you have become a non entity in the huge business of war"

G.I., Lee Kennett

Fred Paul Dallas, who was also in Company F, 179th Regiment, was captured at Mulhausen on the same day as John. He says he was captured with 28 men of F Company. North Carolina People - Paul Dallas, World War II Veteran

In an interview he remembers the capture thus:

Question: And what was the combat like at this point, as you were trying to push further north?

Paul Dallas: Well, it's not easy to describe, but a lot of it was on the ground, crawling. A lot of it was in the woods, in the mountains. We were having to go through that terrain, running into machine gun nests that the Germans had set up in the mountains behind trees, going through minefields where they had laid mines. It was pretty tough. We lost a lot of men. A lot of us were lucky too.

Question: Describe for us what was happening in November as you approached Mulhouse.

Paul Dallas: Well, on November 28th we had orders earlier that morning before daylight to push off and take the next three towns. I don't remember the name of the little small towns. I remember the name of Mulhouse because that's where I was captured. But the first three towns, we were supposed to take those three towns and then dug [ph] in for the night and not move onto Mulhouse until the next day. But about lunchtime we had taken the three towns and secured them, and the regimental commander decided we should go on take Mulhouse that day. So he sent orders up for us to do that, and my company and my platoon - in fact - my squad was leading the attack to Mulhouse.

Well, we got word up that we'd have an artillery barrage on Mulhouse at 13:50, 13:30-1:30 PM that afternoon and we were to wait until after the artillery barrage let up, and then we were going to move into Mulhouse, which is about a half mile away, to take the town. Our artillery barrage, for some reason, did not come. And about 2:00 o'clock, about 30 minutes later, we see all these German tanks coming out of the town. I mean there was, I don't know how many, but it looked like hundreds of them, but I'm sure it wasn't than many, but when you're a foot soldier out there on the ground and you see those tanks coming, it looks like an awful lot of them. And they moved up within just a few yards of where we were. In fact, we saw them coming. We started trying to dig in. It had rained the night before. The area, the field, we were in was muddy. We dug in that mud and tried to dig in a trench to get down in, me and my assistant squad leader and the others in the squad.

[CUT] [OFF MIC TECHNICAL DISCUSSION]

Question: So you were telling us about the conditions at Mulhouse that day. What were they like?

Paul Dallas: You want me to describe the conditions when were captured? Okay. Well, as I said, we had dug in, trying to get some protection from the machine guns and other guns from the tanks. The tanks moved up pretty close to us, and they had the large artillery 88 guns on them. And by the way, the first two shots they fired off of their 88 guns, they fired them at our two tanks that was attached to our platoon, and it knocked both tanks out, one right after the other.

And we had a bazooka - we call them bazooka men in the platoons - with bazookas that could blow a tank up. They spotted those and killed them right off the bat. And we had, in my squad, I had a BAR man, that's Browning automatic rifle. They spotted him and killed him right off the bat. And from then on all we had was our rifles to fight against those tanks with. Well, when you fire a rifle against a tank it's like throwing peas against a wall as far as the effectiveness of it.

And when I was captured one of the tanks moved up pretty closely, maybe 100 feet from me, and he rolled the barrel of the 88 gun down, pointing right at me and my assistant squad leader, and I was looking right down the barrel of it. And he moved the tank a little bit closer, and I think when he moved it a little closer he dropped the barrel down a little bit and they fired it. And the shell went in the ground, probably 15 to 20 feet in front of us and created a pretty good bunker, threw a lot of mud on us. We were lucky, did not get any shrapnel from it, I guess because we were down in that hole.

And then they started firing burp guns on us and machine guns. And before he fired that 88 gun, a machine gun had already been fired against me and had torn my helmet up. I had lost my helmet off my head. It almost broke my neck when it came off, it felt like.

And then this German came out, they opened the turret on that tank, and came up out of the tank and stood straight up, and I had my rifle pointed right in his eyes, but he had a burp gun pointed in my eyes too. And he said, "Go ahead and pull the trigger," in English, "go ahead and pull the trigger. You're dead." And I looked at all the guns pointed in my face and I decided it wouldn't be a good idea to pull that trigger, because I knew I'd be dead. And then he said, "Drop your gun. Put your hands up. Stand up. Tell the rest of your men to stand up with their hands up." Well, I knew we were dead if I didn't do that. So I did that thinking, "Well, I'm going to escape later."

So they captured 28 of us and they wiped out the rest of the company, and later that night we learned that they wiped out a lot of people in the regiment out of other than that company, because we learned later that they had captured regimental headquarters that afternoon.

Anyway, they put us on tanks and had two half tracks pulled up there and had us get on. They hauled us down into that little town of Mulhouse. And about the time we got into town, our artillery barrage came, and it was a very heavy artillery barrage. And we were sitting up on the half tracks and on the tanks, and the Germans started jumping off the half tracks and the tanks, trying to take cover from the artillery. We did the same thing. And about that time I saw a concrete wall, kind of a round wall, about maybe 100 feet from where I was on this half track. So I decided that was the place to go, I'd escape.

So I ran to this wall and lay down real close to the ground for protection from the artillery shells and from the flak, and as soon as it lit up I was going to take off. I thought I was. Well, within probably 30 seconds from the time I lay down behind that wall, I felt something sticking me in the shoulder, and looked up and this dumb German shoulder was standing straight up with his rifle with a bayonet on it, pushing it against my shoulder, telling me, "Let's go." There was flak flying everywhere. I thought he was the dumbest guy I had ever seen, but I had to go.

So he took me back to one of the tanks, and we got behind the tank until the artillery barrage was over. But then they had an army truck in the town. They loaded us on this army truck and took us to Strasburg that afternoon and we were interrogated. They had an interrogation center set up in Strasburg, and we were interrogated off and on most of the night.

Question: You said 28 of your men were captured. Out of how many? How large was your platoon?

Paul Dallas: Well, the company was, at that time I think was about 180 men in the company. And each platoon then, the platoon I was in had 28 men in it.

Question: So it was 28 out of 180?

Paul Dallas: Yeah.

PAUL DALLAS The 28 prisoners were taken to Strasburg about 20 miles away where they were interrogated by and English speaking German officer who said he had studied in the states and who appears to have been quite friendly toward the prisoners. Strausburg was the largest city in the area.

From Strasburg they were moved to a transient camp at Limburg an der Lahn and then to other camps further east.


I bought this map circa 2000 at some genealogy meeting. For some reason all I can find is a xerox copy of the section that included Wissembourg. I don't know where I "filed" the original map.

The city of Mulhouse is indicated with the red arrow. The commune of Mulhausen, Bas Rhin is indicated (more or less) by the red "X". Epinal, Rambersville, Baccarat, Mutzig, Wasselonne, and Bouxwiller (all mentioned in the 179th Regiment) are highlighted in yellow. As is Wissembourg which was listed by the War Department as the place of John's capture. Strauburg is not highlighted by me but is situated east of Molsheim and Mutzig.


Mulhausen in relationship to Bouxwiller, Google Maps, 2010.

Bouxwiller is about 5 miles from Mulhausen. I believe that D919 follows the Moder River.


NARA Photos, WWII The Low Countries 112. "A lanky GI, with hands clasped behind his head, leads a file of American prisoners marching along a road somewhere on the western front. Germans captured these American soldiers during the surprise enemy drive into Allied positions." Captured German photograph, December 1944. 111-SC-198240.

See NARA World War II Photos


Communication From the Army Regarding John's Capture

December 15, 1944 Telegram

On December 15, 1944 (about two weeks after his capture) his wife, Alice Blanck, received the following telegram from the US Government, addressed to 12 Cooper Place, Weehawken:

THE SECRETARY OF WAR DESIRES ME TO EXPRESS HIS DEEP REGRET THAT YOUR HUSBAND PRIVATE JOHN J BLANCK HAD BEEN REPORTED MISS IN ACTION SINCE TWENTY EIGTH NOVEMBER IN FRANCE IF FURTHER DETAILS OR OTHER INFORMATION ARE RECEIVED YOU WILL BE PROMPTLY NOTIFIED

DULOP ACTING THE ADJUTANT GENERAL

March 9, 1945 Letter

In early March 1945 (about three months after his capture) Alice received a letter, dated March 9, from the War Department stating that John's whereabouts was still unknown but:

"A report has now, been received, however, which states that on 28 November, Private Blanck was acting in the capacity of rifleman with a company in a defensive position near Wissenbourg, France. An enemy tank and three half-tracks attacked from the north and overran that part of the company area occupied by your husband's platoon, continuing the raid for about ten minutes. It was following this action that your husband's absence was noted, but a search of the area failed to disclose any trace of Private Blanck.

Lists of prisoners of war received from the enemy, through the International Red Cross, have been carefully checked, but Private Blanck's name has not been found on any of them. The military authorities are utilizing all the means at their disposal to locate our men missing in action, and you may be assured that if any information is received in this office concerning your husband, it will be communicated to you without delay.

My sympathy is with you during this long and difficult period of anxiety."

March 21, 1945 Telegram

On March 21, 1945 (three months after the first telegram) Alice received a second telegram from the Adjutant General, address 12 Cooper Place, Weehawken.

BASED ON INFORMATION RECEIVED THROUGH THE PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL RECORDS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT HAVE BEEN AMENDED TO SHOW YOUR HUSBAND PRIVATE JOHN L BLANCK A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT ANY FURTHER INFORMATION RECEIVED WILL BE FURNISHED BY THE PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL

J A ULIO THE ADJUTANT GENERAL

Originals of these papers can be seen at Copies of Military Documents


From Alice's Point of View

The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. John Blanck and Alice Azarian were married in June 1942. The first deployment of US troops in the European Theater was on November 7, 1942. John and Alices' first son, Dennis, was born in June 1943. John went to active duty February 1944. Their second son, Tom, was born June 1944. John was shipped overseas in late July 1944. From August to October he was in a relatively save position in an area of Italy that had already been taken from the Axis forces. On October 2nd 1944 John was shipped to France, arriving on the 7th of October. John was captured on November 28, 1944. Alice got the first telegram that he was missing in action December 15, 1944. She got a letter that he was missing in action March 9, 1945. She got a telegram that he was a POW in March 1945.

Basically, by her third anniversary Alice had two children and a husband who had been in the army for four months. I am sure he had very little or no time at home after his induction. Her son, Denis, was about a year and a half and her son, Tom, was about 6 months old when right before Christmas 1944 she got the telegram that John was missing. For the next four months she did not know if he was dead or alive.

I once said something to Alice about how difficult it must have been having two very small children just a year apart and not knowing whether your husband was dead or alive for months on end. She simply replied "You did what you had to do." and refused to discuss it further.


Capture Remembered in 1968

John spoke little about his experiences in the war. However, he did talk to me about it a bit as the result of an incident that occurred in August 1968.

Tom and I were visiting John and Alice at their home in Hackensack during the Democratic Convention of August 1968. John and I were watching the convention and related activities on TV. Alice and Tom were already in bed. There was a confrontation between National Guard, Police, and anti war protesters in which the National Guard and Police ended up clubbing some of the anti war protesters. See Jo Freedman.com for details and photos. John had fallen asleep before the broadcast ended at midnight. When I went to shake him a little to tell him it was time to go to bed he started to hit me with his fists and kick me with his feet. I, of course, started screaming, which woke him up. When he realized what he had done he was mortified. The scenes of the confrontation in Chicago had brought on war dreams. This was not an isolated occurrence. Apparently he suffered from such dreams for years but the only other witness had been Alice. By way of apology for hitting me he spoke to me a bit about his capture.

He told me he was asleep when his group was surrounded and taken by the Germans. He and the men he was with had become separated from the other American troops. They had not had much rest or food and were low on ammunition. Apparently the person or persons who were supposed to be on guard had also fallen asleep, so the group was completely taken by surprise. Upon wakening he realized what was happening and tried uselessly to fight off his captors.

Note: The story John told me differs from the account in the War Department letter, the morning reports and that of Fred Paul Dallas, who was captured on the same day. See Fred Paul Dallas.


Transient Camp Stalag XIIA Limburg an der Lahn

John was captured on November 28, 1944 at Mulhausen, Bas Rhin. He was processed three days later in Limburg an der Lahn (Stammlager XII A, Limburg (Lahn). John never said anything about the transportation from Mulhausen to Limburg. However, it is highly likely that he traveled to Limburg an der Lahn with Paul Dallas, another member of Company F, 179th Regiment who was captured November 28th at Mulhausen. Pauls Dallas says that he was interrogated and then:

"After the interrogation, the next morning they put us on German army trucks and carried us to Stalag 12-A [ph], which was near Limburg, Germany. I guess it was a prison camp with two or three thousand American prisoners in it. All of them weren't American. Americans and there were some British. There were also some Australians and some Italians. I think this was a transit prison camp where they took them temporarily because they were moving them about everyday. I stayed there three weeks, and then they herded several hundred of us down to the railroad track where they had us to get on boxcars, and we didn't know where we were going, but we loaded on these boxcars. We were packed in the boxcars so tight, it was standing room only, and when they closed the door on that boxcar that was it. We had very little light coming into the boxcar."

Stalag XII A was a transit camp which processed newly captured prisoners before sending them on to a more permanent camp or to a work camp. One of the main aspects of Stalag XIIA appears to have been interrogation. However, "interrogations of enlisted men in the ground forces tended to be perfunctory" [Lee Kennet, G.I.]

The POWs were housed in tents and the whole aspect of the camp appears to have been rather makeshift.

John was at Stammlager XII A Limburg on December 2, 1944 when he was issued some sort of receipt. The paper is worn and old and the writing is impossible to read. However there are seveal printed sections and one of them reads "'hat abgeliefert" [has delivered]. The back of this paper written in pencil are six names names: J Blanck - 311261, F Don Diago - 311263, E Catald - 311262, J Cando - 311264, E Dahl 311269, and Craft - 311272. In addition there is a notation "5A 1sect, Lince(?)". See below for more on these men.

At Limburg an der Lahn enlisted men and officers were separated. John was issued German POW dog tags with the number 311261. It is not know how long he was in the camp at Limburg an der Lahn. However it was most likely a few days to a few weeks based on other accounts and the fact that one of the soldiers on a list with him was captured at least two days after he was. He may have been moved at the same times as Paul Dallas who was captured the same day and was transfered to Muhlberg Stalag IVB after three weeks at Stalag XIIA.

The World Was II camp was actually located south west of Limburg in Diez. Diez is a small village on the Lahn river. The village is dominated by a medieval castle. The camp was near the train lines and was hit when the allies bombed the Diez rail yard on December 24, 1944.

Patrick who maintains a web site about the Battle of Huertgen Forest has pinpointed the sight of the camp. See Bad Train Ride to 1944 POW Christmas for Patrick's great image of an overlay of the camp on a current google map and the remembrances of another POW David Thibodeau.

Stalag XII-A, Limburg Images contains some images of the camp.

See also:

Stalag XIIA

Accounts -274th - Paul Durbin

Originals of John's papers from Stalag XIIA can be seen at Copies of Military Documents

Interestingly Limburg had also been the site of a prisoner of war camp in World War I. That camp was located south of the road between Limburg and Dietkirchen. There are memorials to the soldiers who died in this camp in the Dietkirchen military cemetary. Dietkirchen is north east of Limburg. After WWI the camp served as a transit station for German soldiers who had been captured by the Allies. Many Irish POWs were held there during WWI.


The area outlined in red is the approximate area of the camp. My thanks to Patrick who in February 2015 pointed out the location.


Limburg an de Lahn

Postcard collection on Maggie Land Blanck


Transfer From Stalag XIIA to Stalag IV B

From Limburg an der Lahn John was transported east to Stalag IV B near Muhlberg. John never spoke of the transfer from one camp to the other.

Fred Paul Dallas who was captured the same day as John and was also transfered to Stalag IVB recounts that after being processed at Limburg the POWs were loaded into boxcars and started moving almost a once. After 30 minutes British bombers and "bombed and strafed" the train. As a result the train sat for 5 days without moving. The POWs were inside without light, "sanitary facilities", food and water. It then appears that it took another six days to arrive at Stalag 4B, their destination. It is possible, even likely, that John was on the same train.

Paul Dallas recounts of his transfer from Limburg to Stalag IVB Muhlberg:

"Well, they loaded several hundred of us, I don't know how many, on these boxcars, and when they closed the doors, it was daylight when we got in there. It was like pitch dark because of no light coming in the boxcars that we were in. They had the one window, but the windows were partially stopped up and boarded up with boards.

The train started moving within a few minutes, and it probably moved 30 minutes maybe until we heard British bombers coming over. And we knew they were British bombers. If you stay in combat a month or two, you learn the sounds of different country's airplanes. Well, the British bombers came over and bombed and strafed that train. I'm sure they thought it was an ammunition train. There was an ammunition plant not too far away from this prison camp at Stalag 12-A. But they did a pretty good job at bombing and strafing that train. They must have torn the tracks up.

They must have torn the locomotive off of it because we sat for five days and nights in one spot, and the Germans didn't open the doors to the boxcars.

And we were packed tight in there, no sanitary facilities except a bucket. It looked like a big paint bucket. It was over in one corner. And when we got in the boxcars they told us, you know, that's where we'd use the latrine, but you couldn't get to it you were packed so tight. And it was in the opposite corner of the boxcar from where I was standing.

Well, the strafing killed a few guys in the boxcars. I didn't know how many until they finally arrived at the destination where they were taking us six days later. We, when they opened the doors, they had us to unload the dead off the boxcars. There were 12 in the boxcars that I was in, that was dead. And they had been dead in the boxcar since the first day that we were in there. They had us to unload them, stack the bodies like cordwood at 20 pine trees at Stalag 4-B, by the way, is where we finally wound up.

The train started moving after five days and nights. It only moved about one day until we arrived at Stalag 4-B, but we didn't know where they were then, but we learned later that's where we were. Thirst was the worse thing of that, being in the boxcars six days and nights with nothing to drink, no food. You become dehydrated in that length of time, pretty much so.

Question: What did you think about? What kept you going during that time?

Paul Dallas: In my case, it was my faith, my faith in God, my faith in my country, in our military. I knew one day we were get out of that boxcar. I didn't know when. Of course all the guys in the boxcar didn't get out alive, but many of us were fortunate. We did get out alive.

We got out, we couldn't speak. Our tongues were swollen so much from dehydration. And they made us stand in the pine forest outside the camp all night that night, and it was freezing weather then. And the next morning, I'll never forget it, it was Christmas morning. They took us inside Stalag 4-B and put us in the barracks. It was Christmas morning, 1944.

On December 23/24, 1944, 52 British Royal Air Force Mosquitos bombed Limburg railway yard. They had no way of knowing that the boxcars on the tracks were filled with Allied prisoners of war. Many exPOWs recount how they were singing Silent Night when the bombing started. Some were able to get out of the boxcars and run away but were later recaptured. Other who got out of the boxcars died in the bombing. Still other were locked inside the box cars. Apparently the box cars suffered minimal damage. The POW camp was also hit and there were casualties.
December 1944

"On the 23rd December, 63 men were killed during a British air raid one night. The intended target had been the railway station at Diez, a few miles away, but unfortunately the flares dropped by the pathfinder aircraft drifted off course in a strong wind and some strayed into Stalag XIIA. The bombs of RAF Mosquitos did not miss the highlighted target of a concrete building, housing mostly medical personnel. Stalag XXIIA

"Railroad yard near Limburg, Germany, struck by 9th Air Force light and medium bombers on Dec. 23, 1944, the first day of good weather during the Battle of the Bulge. Unfortunately, since the rail cars were not marked per the Geneva Convention, Allied POWs in transit sometimes lost their lives in rail attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo)"

National Museum of the US Air Force

Other POWs have told the story of their capture and several personal accounts of capture and incarceration can be found on line. They all tell of being jammed into "40 by 8" unheated, windowless boxcars. Space was so tight that some men stood while other squatted between their legs. No one could lie down. The sick or injured were given the preference of being able to squat. Little food was provided. Water was not always provided. Occasionally the prisoners were allowed out of the boxcars to scoop up snow. When water was provided, the water pails also served as toilets. Alternatively, the soldier's helmets were used for the same purposes. Sometimes an icicle was within reach to provide some hydration. Dysentery was rampant. The trip to the POW camp took days or weeks. The trains were frequently sidetracked as supply trains went by. They were also fired upon by U.S. and British planes trying to stop the movement of German supplies (There was no way of knowing there were American prisoners of war on board). Death rates from dehydration, untreated wounds, and the Allied bombings were high and the dead were simply thrown off the train along the side of the track. Sometimes after a few days the train would stop and the men would be provide with some food, generally black bread and watery soup. When the trains arrived at their destinations the prisoners were gruffly ordered out. For many it was a painful experience. After days in almost total darkness the sunlight could be blinding. After days in a cramped position muscles did not work.

The Battle of the Bulge resulted in large numbers of Allied POWs and there was not adequate room at Stalag XIIA to process all of the soldiers. Many were moved immediatly to Stalag IVB, Muhberg. In additions to those who were transported by train, some were moved in trucks and some marched the entire way.

An American POW in Germany By George Rosie, 506 PIR, 101st Airborne Division Edited by Bill Carrington tells of a much more civilized transport from Limuerg to Stalag 4B in June 1944. Even Stalag 4 B sounds pretty tolerable until the weather turned cold cold in November.

Every soldier and POW agree that the winter of 1944/45 was miserably cold. Many suffered frostbitten toes and feet when their socks and boots got wet and there were no dry socks to change into.



  1. John was captured near Strasbourg.

  2. He was processed at Limburg an der Lahn.

  3. From Limburg he was transferred to Stalag IV B at Muhlberg, near Dresden

  4. At the war's end, John was in or near Most, Czechoslovakia.

From Most John and his friends made their way to Dresden and onto Gera. They met up with the American troops near Chimnitz. After several days they arrived at Erfurt from which they were flown to Rheims, France.


Camp Life

Upon arrival at the camp, prisoners were told to strip naked, their clothes were taken, their hair was shorn, and they were given a shower while their clothes were deloused. This was the last shower most of them had until liberation. The only water available was cold and given the fidget temperatures in the camps in the winter of 1944/45 no one seems to have cared much for washing in icy water. There were no towels and no changes of clothes. Prisoners wore the same clothes (including socks and underwear) from the time of their capture (if not before) until their liberation in May 1945. John mentions getting a change of underwear and socks on May 9th, the first change he had in six months.

The prisoners were housed in unlit, unheated wooden barracks frequently with dirt floors. The prisoners slept in bunk beds, three or four levels high. Mattresses were of straw or saw dust or did not exist. Other prisoners tell of sleeping on straw on the floor. Frequently the men slept together in a group in order to share body heat during the freezing winter nights. Blankets seem to have been in short supply. Frost bitten toes and feet were a chronic problem. While the winter of 1944/45 was one of the coldest on record in Europe, the cold did nothing to deter the lice, fleas and other vermin.

Almost everyone suffered from dysentery necessitating frequent trips to the outdoor open latrine during the day or the hole in the corner of the barracks at night. There were no such luxuries as toilet paper.

John sometimes spoke of numbers of fellow prisoners who died, mostly of malnutrition. He said the main form of nutrition was "soup", which he described as a few potato skins floating in some water. Other POW talk of barley "coffee", dark bread made with sawdust, and an occasional piece of cheese. The only meat ever mentioned was horse meat sometimes served in the soup. John said in his diary on May 7th: "horse meat is the only meat we have had in the last few months". He also said: "I haven't had a vegetable in 6 months."

John said his rations did included two cigarettes a day. John credited his survival to the fact that he did not smoke and was able to trade his cigarettes for "food". When he was induced in the service in February 1944 he weighed 155 pounds. By May 1945 he weighted 86 pounds. (While Alice and John always said he came back from the war weighing 86 pounds he mentioned in his diary that he weighted 126 pounds at the end of the war.)

Towards the end of the war life in the camps became harder as the numbers of prisoners increased and the Germans did not have even enough food for themselves.

Before the fall of 1944 Red Cross packages usually reached the POWs. With the escalation of the War in Europe in late in 1944, Red Cross packages were not reaching the POW camps as regularly. A popular item in these packages were cigarettes. Cigarettes were, in fact, the currency of the POW camps.

Section III, article 49, of the Geneva Convention stated that officers were not required to work. However, the common enlisted men could be "compelled" do do certain types of work. See Section III articles 50 through 57 About.com: US Military

Non commissioned POWS were often sent on work details outside the camp. 150 POWS who were designated as being in Stalag IV B Muhlberg were, in fact, in "Slaughterhouse Five" when Dresden was bombed. It is difficult to determine exactly where other POWs were sent on work details. The work details were frequently housed in barns and warehouses and not at an actual "camp".

Apparently work detail had its pluses and minuses. While men on work details were supposed to get additional rations, it was not enough nourishment and it was difficult to do hard physical labor on the meager amount of calories they received. On the other hand there was some hope of obtaining additional food through the generosity of the local Germans or by stealing bits of this and that, mostly potatoes which were eaten raw.

John said in his diary: ".....the German had pushed me around for 6 months. Shoving coal in weather below zero and using their bayonets on us not to mention starving." This statement indicates that he was on a work detail. An English soldier assigned to Stalag IV B talks of working in the coal mines in Oberrobblingen, Saxony. See WW2 People's War. Des Callan, who knew John as a POW, "shoveled coal at a German factory". See Des Callan below.

The arrival of new prisoners was an exciting event in camp, as men would gather near the entrance to search for their missing buddies.

POW's were kept in separate compounds by nationality although there seems to have been some mixing of Brit and Americans.

There appears to have been some minimal correspondence between loved ones in the states and the POWs. Many letter were lost, only to show up once the war had ended. John clearly received at least one piece of mail that contained photos. See below.

The soldiers tried to entertain themselves with plays and talks. There were small libraries of books that had arrived in Red Crosses packages. There were a number of secret homemade radios in the camp. Consequently some information on the progress of the war was passed around. Most of the conversation was about food.

The nights were filled with the constant drone of Allied bombers on their way to bomb Berlin, Dresden, and Leipzig. Dresden was close enough that the explosions could be heard in some camps. The POWs in Slaughterhouse Five were in Dresden during the bombings. POW work details were sent to assist in cleaning up the city after the bombing.

See Survival at Stalag IVB: soldiers and airmen remember Germany's largest POW...By Tony Vercoe

Wold War II movies like the, Great Escape, while entertaining, do not give a real idea of the suffering of the American GI in a German POW camp.The sometimes grittier Stalag 17 ultimately is as much comedy as drama. The TV show Hogan's Heros makes the whole experience seem like a lark.

alibris has many war movies for sale and it gives a fairly good recap of the plots.


Stalag (or Stammlager [base camp]) 4B (IV B), Muhlberg, #006.

Stammlager camps were POW camps for enlisted personnel - versus camps for officers.

The NARA records indicate that John was originally assigned to Stalag 4 B (IV B) Muhlberg. I do not know how long he stayed in this camp. Others captured in December 1944 and assigned to Stalag IV B Muhlberg were transfer to work camps within a week or two.

Stalag IV B (Identified as Camp 006 in US POW records) was one of the largest camps. It was located 8 km east-north-east of the town of Muhlberg (about 50 km north-north-west of Dresden).

Stalag 4 B Muhlberg was surrounded by a double barbed wire fence with flood lights about every 50 feet. There were numerous guard towers. It was both a permanent camp and a "lager" camp (transit work camp). In addition to Americans, there were prisoners from all of the Allied Forces in Europe. Crews of enlisted men were sent from the camp to work details in the surrounding area including German Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. The Geneva Convention allowed "that enlisted men were required to perform whatever labor they asked and able to do, so long as it was not dangerous and did not support the German war effort" (Wikipeida.org)

In general the camps were divided into compounds that were separated by barbed wire. Each compound contained several barracks which held upward to 40 men sleeping in tiered bunks.

By December 1944, there were 4,500 Americans in Stalag IVB . Half again as many are reported to have passed through on their way to other camps. The increase in the numbers of the POWs was in part the result of the Battle of the Bulge of December 1944 when over 23,554 Americans were captured.

While he was officially listed by the US Government in Stalag IV B John spent at least part of his time in Stalag IV A which may have been located near Hohnstein/Bad Schandau in the mountains near the Czech boarder.

Stalag 4 B was originally planned as a transit camp. There are a number of accounts by America POWs who spent some time in Stalag VI B and then were moved to other camps including Stalag IV A.

The writer, Kurt Vonnegut, was listed as a POW in IV B. He was assigned to a work camp in Dresden and wrote about his war experiences in Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969 Bluebeard in 1987,Timequake in 1997, and in several short stories published in Bagombo Snuff Box. Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five by Ervin E Szpek, Jr and Frank J Idzikowski puts fellow POW's of Kurt Vonnegut in Stalag IVA. See below.

A Canadian remembers the arrival of the Americans at Stalag IVB:

December 29th was our last issue of Red Cross parcels until Feb. 8th - but it was made to tied us over the New Years celebrations. On the same day the first of 6,000 American, captured just prior to Christmas in the German push, arrived. It was their condition that made us realize how cold it was. They had been traveling eight days in cattle trucks without any heating and very little food - some even suffering from frostbite. We wondered as we fed them with hot peas flour soup and cups of tea, that they still shivered after being in doors an hour. Our hut strength was increased from 210 to 329 men.

The arrival of Americans emptied our parcel magazine - at the same time the fuel supply was short. But we were not unduly worried, parcels had always arrived in time before.

The first week passed, no parcels arrived and the cold got more bitter. Each night we sat around in our great coats with no fires, acutely conscious of our feet. In bed each man tried in vain to keep a spark of warmth, but the cold squeezed its way right into the heart Health problems became evident as the arrivals succumbed to violent stomach disorders and their temporary apathy made them neglect personal cleanliness.

On January 13, 1945 the majority of the Americans left. Several had died of pneumonia or similar complaints, caused by lack of food and intense cold. WE were now beginning to learn the meaning of hunger. Every ounce of sauerkraut tasted delicious, each piece of turnip was relished, and the cheese we had previously complained about to Geneva, went down well with a little salt. Tempers were lost over trivialities, fight started quickly, men stole food from their comrades. And above all, the cold ate away our spirit.

Very slight relief came the third week with the issue of a medical parcel between eight men. The amount of food was negligible bit we did have a milk drink every night for seven days.

Stories We Remember

After the reunification of Germany a museum was opened in Muhlberg that contains photographs and maps of the camp. The address is Initiativgruppe Lager Muhlberg e.V., Klostersrtasse 9, 04931, Muhlberg/Elbe, Germany

The site of the camp lies outside of Muhlberg and can be visited. See below.


Stalag IV A, Hohnstein, Germany

While the records from the National Archives list John at camp 006, Stalag IV B Muhlberg, he is known to have been at "Stalag IV A". This information is derived from a stamp on photos he received while a POW.

A combination of records and personal recollections indicates that there were many POWs who were designation CAMP: 006 (Stalag IV B Muhlberg) in the German records but, in fact, spent at least part of the time in Stalag IVA and/or other work camps.

There are two listings for "Stalag IV A":

  • Stalag IV A, Elsterhorst, located near Hoyerswerda in Saxony about 44 km north-east of Dresden.

  • Stalag IV A (Hohenstein, Germany) at or near Hohnstein and/or Bad Schandau about 10 to 13 miles south of Dresden. Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five has a map of the POW camps showing Stalag IVA near Hohnstein.

I have found reference to the fact that Stalag IV A was originally at Elsterhorst and moved in 1942 to Hohnstein (Bad Scandau) Saxony. Other web sites say the Stalag IV A Elsterhorst remained in existence until the end of the war.

Note: There was also Oflag IV A which was a POW camp for officers. They were quartered in a castle in Hohnstein, Saxony

While I have found reference to Stalag IV A on the German Czech boarder was about 13 miles south of Dresden in the mountains, I have not been able to find an actual "camp" for Stalag IV A.

I believe that "Stalag IV A, Hohnstein" was actually a series of work camps in and around Dresden and in the mountains south of Dresden. After the bombing of Dresden it appears that most of the POWs were moved near the Czeck border.

Henry E Hall and other in Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five say they were assigned to Stalag 4 A "which was in Dresden". The men of Slaughterhouse Five worked as general laborers in various factories and warehouses in Dresden. They were quartered in the infamous slaughterhouse when Dresden was bombed in February 1945. After the bombing they were moved to Hellendorf in mountains south of Dresden.

John received at least one letter from Alice while he was a POW. I do not know what happened to the letter, but among the family photos are three pictures taken in June 1944 (Tom is clearly a very young infant). On the back of all three photos in Alice's hand is written:

"John J Blanck 311261"
Note: 311261 was John's German dog tag number.

Stamped on the back of all three photos is:

KFG.M.Stammlager IV A
Kompaniebereich 5./393* Bittau
*[Camp area 5./393]

Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five: Recollections and Reflections of the Ex-POWs ... By Ervin E. Szpek, Jr., Frank J. Idzikowski

"I was captured on 19 December 1944, and carried to Stalag-4-B, which was near a town in Germany. I don't remember the exact name of the town, but when pronounced it sounded like "Muleburg". Then on 24 January 1945 I was carried to Stalag 4-A which was in Dresden, Germany. After the Americans started bombing the town we were moved close to the Czechoslovakian border on a farm, and stayed there until the war ended"

Henry E Hall

Footnote to the diary of Thomas C Ballowe Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five
"Dresden Arbitskommandos were under the supervision of Stalag IV-A Hohnstein, southeast of Dresden. Once the POWs left the transit camp of Stalag IV-B they were transfered to IV-A. POW postcards sent during their stay at Slaughterhouse Five have the heading Stalag IV-A.
Arbeitskommandos were sub-camps where POWs were kept close to a specific work sites such as factories, coal-mines, quarries, farms and railroad maintenance. These sub-camps were sometimes quite large holding up to 1,000 prisoners. The designated Stalag kept the personal records and administered the postal service and International Red Cross packages.

Stalag IVa mentioned in APOCALYPSE 1945 The Destruction of Dresden

Page 104

"The British War Office would admit that the last report on the British camps in Dresden had been received from the Protecting Power, Switzerland, in January 1945; this had stated that there were sixtyseven such 'work-details' within the immediate Dresden area, under the Stalag IVa camp. Added to these were seven American work-details, each considerably larger than the British ones, reported after a visit to Dresden by a representative of the Swiss Legation in Berlin between January 15-22

Page 105

The measure in which the city's population of Allied prisoners grew during February is shown by a report by the International Red Cross on a visit to Dresden's Stalag IVa on February 22 which revealed that there was by then a total of 26,620 prisoners of war interned there, including 2,207 Americans."

Italics mine.

John made the following entry in his diary about Dresden and Freiburg.

May 10

"On the way to Dresden I had a nasty spill while coming through the mountains. I didn't feel it at first but when we stopped at a bakery near Dresden I actually fainted. The German people were very nice to us and took good care of me giving me medicine and blankets so I could sleep. The baker baked a very large butter cake for us (we supplied butter and sugar). It was delicious. It certainly reminded me of home. At about four o'clock we left to proceed on to Freiburg. We rode through Dresden. I had been to Dresden before it was bombed and to see it wrecked was something hard to believe. The city was bombed for 1 hr. by four thousand bombers and you can believe me there isn't one house that hasn't been hit. The bombing was so perfect that there are very, very few shell holes in the streets every bomb was a direct hit."

This leads me to believe that he had been on a work detail in Dresden before the bombing and like, Henry Hall, was moved south before or just after the bombings. He and his friends were not, however, in Slaughterhouse Five.

Note: Dresden was bombed on February 13, 1945.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Dresden before it was bombed.


Stalag IVC Brux (Most, Czech Republic))

Over the years John said he had been in Czechoslovakia when he was a prisoner of war.

I believe that John was at Stalag IVC in Brux (Most, Czechoslovakia) at the end of the war.

Several online sites state:

"On December 15, 1942, Brux began output of Ersatz fuel synthesized from brown coal (German: braunkohle) at the Sudetenla ndische Treibstoffwerke AG (STW) Maltheuren plant and a subcamp of Sachsenhausen provided forced labor. Stalag IV-C (Wistritz bei Teplitz) was at the "Sudentenland Treibstoff Werke" and Brux was repeatedly bombed during the Oil Campaign of World War II. Post-War, Most was restored to Czechoslovakia and, following the expulsion of Germans after World War II (mainly 1946), Czechs replaced the Germans."
Another repeated comment on line:
"Stalag IV-C was a German military prisoner of war camp in World War II, sited close to what is now the city of Teplice in the Czech Republic. "Stalag" is short for Stammlager, which is German for Basecamp and usually housed enlisted ranks of service personnel. The camp was run by the Germans and held many allied prisoners of mixed nationalities, including many of the Allied service personnel who were captured by the Germans in the Battle of Crete in 1941. Some inmates of the camp had to work at the "Sudentenlandische Treibstoff Werke" which is a coal hydrogenation plant, involved in the processing to get oil from coal. The factory was destroyed by the RAF in 1944. The POW camp was liberated by the Russians in January 1945."*
*This date would appear to be in error.

PRISONERS OF WAR I: MOVEMENTS OF PRISONERS AND LIBERATION IN GERMANY states:

"For some of those who were set to work inside Czechoslovakia the last stage of captivity lingered on into May. The party at Christofsgrund in northern Sudetenland, now attached to Stalag IVC, worked on at railway maintenance through March and April. Nearby at Brux there were still some thousands of prisoners of war working in the coal mines. As the news got rapidly better, so the rations rapidly deteriorated. On 5 May the party was still doing railway maintenance, and the men received their pay for the previous month's work. They had the radio news, but the central area in which they were situated was one of the last to be reached by the invasion forces. One man wrote on 6 May, "The war appears to be over, but there is nothing to prove it". Within a day or so camps in the area were breaking up, and those who decided not to risk falling into Russian hands got on to refugee trains heading for the west. Eventually they were taken over by the United States forces."
John's diary relates:
  • May 7: They left the camp with about 1,200 men under German guard. The roads were "jammed with evacuees" moving away from the approaching Russians. They marched about 20 kilometers that day.

  • May 8: John and 4 friends tried to break away from the German Guards. In an un-named town they heard rumors that the war was over. Heavy air raids. About noon they started to "penetrate the German front lines". John and his four friends were on their own, the German guards having disappeared. The covered about another 20 kilometers that day.

  • May 9: They heard definite news that the war was over. They marched through the village of Schonwald where the Russians "caught up" with them. They were fed and entertained by the Russians. The obtained 5 bikes from some German soldiers headed toward Dresden.
    "Imagine how I felt after the German had pushed me around for 6 months. Shoving coal in weather below zero and using their bayonets on us not to mention starving."

At the end of this 40 kilometer march John and friends were in the village of Schonwald. Schonwald is now called Krasny Les (Czeck Republic). It is just south of the German border, south of Dresden and near Teplice. Krasny Les is in the Karovy Vary District on the southern edge of the Ore Mountains near Klinovec mountain. Before the end of World War II it was mostly inhabited by ethnic Germans.

Backing up to the east from Schonwald (Krasny Les) 40 kilometers or so lies the town of Brux (Moat), the site of the POW camp IVC where prisoners of war shoveled coal.


Images of POWs in WWII

Images of POWs as presented in magazine advertisements appear more or less hopeful. Some actual photos taken of US GIs in May 1945 depict men who are virtually skin and bones.


The Saturday Evening Post, date unknown, "HE'S HOME FOR A MOMENT"

The accompanying text is a plea by the White Truck company to contribute to the Red Cross. This is a rather idealized image. The POWs look clean and well fed. The Red Cross packages have arrive, one per G. I. Even the sunset (or sunrise) looks hopeful.


1944 National Dairy Products Cooperation ad

"Put yourself behind German barbed wire - a prisoner of war. You're hungry and homesick. Into your hands comes a heavy carton.

It is all yours. Raisins, sugar, coffee, oleo, corned beef, biscuits, ham, sausage, orange concentrate, milk chocolate, cheese, powdered milk, soap and cigarettes!...

The Army arranges for a carton of this kind to be sent to every American soldier in every German prison camp every week".

Unfortunately, this may only represent the best intentions. All of the accounts I have found so far indicate that the Red Cross and Army packages rarely arrived in the POW camps as the war progressed. After the Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 - 25 January 1945) when so many Allied troops were taken prisoner, the US government acknowledged that Red Cross supplies did not reach many camps.

This images is slightly darker than the one above, but the soldier still looks relatively healthy and he is receiving his own package.


This is a Nash Kelvinator ad encouraging friends and family to write to prisoners of war. It was run in Life magazine in June 1943. The accompanying text seems to suggest a POW of the Japanese. The prisoner is clearly dirty and ill fed.


Prisoner of War Bulletin published by the Red Cross June 1945 - "Liberated American prisoners, after receiving release kits."


US POWS in Germany 1942-1945

US POWs in a prison hospital at Limburg after being strafed unwittingly by Allied aircraft.


Newly liberated British POEWs at Stalag XI B (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Provenance: Eric Fenton)

See Stalag XIB



Cover YANK the Army Weekly May 18, 1945

"Like millions of Europeans who have been shot, gassed or starved, these American soldiers were victims of Nazi bestiality. They were near death from starvation when freed from a prison camp near Limburg."

My father's cousin, Joseph Land, was one of 73 soldiers who died from overwork and starvation in the Berga prison camp. He died just a few days before the war ended. See Joseph Land below.


Excerpts From John's Diary

Excerpts from John's diary indicate that he was in the the Czechoslovakian mountains near Brux (Most) when the war ended.

  • May 7th
    "We left the camp with approx. 1200 men to join our forces. Most of the men were very, very weak and underfeed as a matter of fact one man had just died because of lack of food. We were very doubtful about the Germans bringing us to our lines, but we were hoping. The march was a sight that I never will forget and hope I never have to be a part of any thing like it again in my life. The roads were jammed with evacuees as they had all heard the Russians were on the move, this crowded condition didn't help matters. We marched 20 kilms. and settled for the night at a large barn

    ...........

    All during the night the Russian artillery was becoming more and more prominent and we certainly knew we would be in Russian hands if we didn't move, which would suit me fine, but of course the Germans are scared stiff of the Russians. "

  • Mary 8th
    "The air raids were heavy and the artillery very, very loud."

    ..........

    We continued on today seeing troops and evacuees pass trying to escape the Russian drive. The German civilians are certainly afraid of the Russians as their propaganda has told them many cruel stories, but they forget how cruel their men were to the Polish and the Russians when they were the great master race. At about noon time we really started to penetrate the German front lines and the air raids continued every half hour and I don't mind admitting haw scared I was. The American force is something to be scared of. We were marching in a group with German wagons in front of us carrying the supplies from the camp we just left when as quick as a flash an air bomb burst about ten feet away from us killing two of our men and wounding two more. The men were all a few feet away from me so again I can thank God for sparing me. These air attacks continued all day. "

  • May 9th:
    "The morning was cool and clear as we walked along the road all we could see was wrecked equipment and dead horses. German rifles machine guns and uniforms were all over the road. The artillery was very loud and rifle shots were everywhere. It was dangerous walking, but we kept moving on.

    ........

    we questioned everyone about the end of the war and one of my friends could speak Polish and he asked a Polish prisoner and he confirmed the news about the war being over. What a moment it was in the middle of the road we actually kissed each other all I could think of was how wonderful it would be to see my wife and two children as their were many times when I thought I would never see them.

    .......

    We were just marching through a village (Schonwald) when the Russian troops caught up with us. (the village had all white flags up as did every other village by now) The Russians were delighted to see us and the Russians Capt. swapped his pocket watch with my friend so you can see how well we were received. We were given food, liquor, candy and chocolate which we hadn't had since we were taken prisoners. The Russians were certainly gay and when their men knew we were Americans we could have anything.

    .......

    In one beautiful house the Russians had ransacked the German woman asked me to help her to stop the Russians as I was an American and she said Americans were all good. Imagine how I felt after the German had pushed me around for 6 months. Shoving coal in weather below zero and using their bayonets on us not to mention starving. I haven't had a vegetable in 6 months.

    .......

    We took a bath in a stream and changed our underclothes (German civilian clothes) socks by the way. This is the first change I have had in 6 months after bathing and shaving we returned to the farm and had a supper of noodles and meal cheese bread and jam tea and cake which a Russian had baked for us. By this time I started to get diarrhea because of eating so much. We had obtain five bikes by the time from German soldiers to get started on our way to our troops which were at Chemnitz.

  • May 10:
    "...on the way to Dresden I had a nasty spill while coming through the mountains. I didn't feel it at first but when we stopped at a bakery near Dresden I actually fainted

    .......

    At about four o'clock we left to proceed on to Freiberg. We rode through Dresden. I had been to Dresden before it was bombed and to see it wrecked was something hard to believe.

    Note:

    • John and his buddies rode part of their way on bikes they had demanded from German soldiers.

Notes: Dresden was bombed February 13, 1945. It is likely that John was either:
  • Was assigned to some work detail in Dresden before the bombing. This is the most likely possibility.
  • Went through Dresden to some work detail between his incarceration in November 1944 and the bombing of Dresden in February 13, 1945.
  • He most likely did NOT see it out of the closed boxcars on his way to camp.
  • He does not appear to have been in Dresden when it was bombed.

To read the whole diary go to John's WWII Diary


1892 Map of the Area

The red line indicates the border between Germany and Czechoslovakia.


Google Map of the Area

The white line is the border between Germany and Czechoslovakia. The town of Most is near the green box marked E442. Teplice is indicated with a yellow arrow. Hohnstein, Hellendorf and Krasney Les were entered by me in yellow. The light areas around Most are, I believe, open pit mines. Open pit mining of brown coal has been carried out since the 15th century in the valley between the Ore Mountains and the Czech Central Mountains. The mines are located near Chomutov, Most, Teplice and Usti nad Labem.


The War Ends for the Men of Slaughterhouse Five

In April the POW from Slaughterhouse Five were moved from Dresden to Hellendorf, Germany near the Czech border where they were billeted in a Gasthaus. In early May, as the Russians advanced, they were moved across the border into Czechoslovakia. As the war came to a close they were marching down the valley through Wistritz and Teplice. From there they seem to have spread out in many directions trying to head away from the Russians who eventually caught up anyway. Some places mentioned were: Peterswald, Pilsen, Aussig, and Prague. Some turned back to Dresden and then made their way west towards the American lines. Others scattered to: Chemnitz, Leipzig and further into Czechoslovakia.

"At Hellendorf we got mixed up with some other GIs not from the Slaughterhouse. I met Sam Vicari from Dallas....."

H. F Moore Company C, 423rd Infantry*

Note: According to the NARA POW records Sam J Vicari had been assigned to Stalag 4F + work Camps Hartmannsdorf-Chemnitz Saxony 51-12

"The guards moved us from Hohnstein to get away from the Russians."

John Balzarini, Battery 590th Artillery*

Question: Does this mean he was not with the others from Slaughterhouse Five in Hellendorf?

Several people in Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five mentioned going though Peterswald, which is between Hellendorf and Schonwald. Others mentioned Teplice which is along the same road.

Gilford Doxee remembers coasting downhill on bikes though Pirna and peddling on to Dresden.

Clearly the men from Slaughterhouse Five and John and his friends ended up in the same valley between the Ore Mountains and the Central Czech mountains. However, the men from Slaughterhouse Five appear to have been further East in the valley than John and his friends.

Kurt Vonnegut alludes to the fact that there were also Concentration Camp inmates in the crowd. Theresienstadt concentration camp was located at Terezin about 30 kilometers from Teplice. Terezin was liberated by Soviet troops on May 8, 1945.

The main objective off all the groups, regardless of nationality, seems to have been to flee the Russians.

*Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five


End of the War Stories for POWs from Stalag IVA

Ed Fridley who was a POW in Stalag IV A says:

"On May 7, the guards started marching us toward the American lines. We were too weak to hurry and the Russians were breathing down our necks. So the German guards just scattered.".....

"We walked into Kuhm, Czechoslovakia, where we met an old couple who offered us food and beds. Four of us stayed there. By now the Russians had overtaken us and were giving orders."....

After several days in Kuhm the Russians ordered us to march to Teplice, a town a few miles up the road. There we boarded a train headed for the American lines."

ANNA RESIDENT REMEMBERS GERMAN POW CAMP

I did not find Kuhm, but Teplice is a few miles south of the Czech border south of Dresden. Kuhm may be the town of "Chlumec" which lies between Krasny Les and Teplice. So the POWs from IVA also appear to have ended up in the same valley as the men from Slaughterhouse Five and John and his friends.

William F Schmidt (and was a prisoner of War "in one of 13 labor camps of IVA, near Bad "Shandau"/Elbe".

"As the Russians approached the Elbe river the camp was evacuated and it was every man for himself. However Bill was taken by stretcher to a house on the west bank by some fellow prisoners where he was liberated two days later."

Sal Falato was was a POW at "Bad Schandau" near the Elbe River but he never names the Stalag. His "escape" to freedom is not very detailed but it does mention crossing the Elbe river by ferry.


End of the War at Stalag IV B Mulberg

The POWs at Muhlberg tell a completely different story. The Russians rather quietly took over the camp. There was little talk of bombing, refugees, mountain roads, crossing rivers etc..


Food Fantasies

Apparently a main topic of conversation in the POW camps was food.

It was a main focus of John's Diary for the first few days.

  • May 7

    My friend, Don, swiped 2 hams and a very large bacon......we made pigs of ourselves, but it felt good.

  • May 8

    Had a ham + fried potato breakfast which is about the first breakfast I have had since I have been in Germany....... Our bread ration today was great 90 Grams of bread and fifty grams of butter one good bite and a days supply would be gone...... stopped at a German farm house the farmer gave us potatoes and cheese..... they gave us a loaf of bread each and pickles

  • May 10

    Had (2) glasses of sour milk I guess it was butter milk..... We stopped at a farm and had more milk and moved on again. We saw a Frenchman with a bucket of jam and plenty of bread.... ....we each got a loaf of bread...... We were given food, liquor, candy and chocolate...... Had dinner in a farm house which we took over ham potatoes, bread jam chervier cheese...... had a supper of noodles and meal cheese bread and jam tea and cake which a Russian had baked for us. By this time I started to get diarrhea because of eating so much......

  • May 11

    had tea, fresh cow milk and the balance of our butter cake..... Had chicken, potatoes, gravy, cherries for dessert...... just finished another chicken dinner with gravy, potatoes, eggnog, bread and a jar of delicious preserved strawberries with fresh milk from the cow. We certainly are living in style having two chicken dinners in one day..... Most of us had our first taste of K rations in 6 Months...... had beans, coffee, white bread and peanut butter.

  • May 12

    a wonderful breakfast 4 eggs, cream of wheat, prunes, 3 slices of white bread + coffee. .....

When he is in La Harve he talks of drinking lots of eggnogs.


Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. on Being a POW

Kurt Vonnegut was a POW confined in a meat slaughter house in Dresden when the city was bombed.

Slaughterhouse Five

He wanted to write about his experience but was not able to tell his story with a traditional beginning, middle and end. He published Slaughterhouse Five in 1969 over 20 years after the war ended. The story is told in an absurd and rambling fashion by the protagonist Billy Pilgrim and incorporates historical and science fiction.

Woven is the story is some basic facts that mirror Vonnegut's own war experience. Billy Pilgrim was an infantryman captured at the Battle of the Bulge. He is transported in a crowded boxcar to a POW camp. Later he is moved to Dresden. He and his fellow POWs are confined in a meat slaughterhouse, a building so strongly built that they survive the bombings. The POWs are forced to dig corpses out of the rubble of Dresden.

Bluebeard

Vonnegut makes several references to the war's end in Bluebeard.

"Our guards vanished one night, and we awoke the next moring on the rim of a great green valley on what is now the border between East Germany and Czechoslovakia"

Bluebeard

"Old Soldier's Anecdote Number Three: "One evening in May, " I said, "we were marched out of our camp and into the countryside. We were halted at about three in the morning, and told to sleep under the stars as best we could.
"When we awoke at sunrise, the guards were gone, and we found that we were on the rim of a valley near the ruins of an ancient stone watchtower. Below us, in that innocent farmland, were thousands upon thousands of people like us, who had been brought there by their guards, had been dumped.These weren't only prisoners of war. They were people who had been marched out of concentration camps and factories where they had been slaves slaves, and out of regular prisons for criminals, and out of lunatic asylums. The idea was to turn us loose as far as possible from the cities, where we might raise hell. "

Bludbeard

"We were standing on the rim of a beautiful green valley in the springtime. By actual count, there were five thousand, two hundred and nineteen people on the rim with us or down below........ There were farmhouses here and there, and the ruins of a medieval watchtower on the rim where we stood"

Bluebeard

When the war ended Krut Vonnegut and John Blanck were part of the hordes that were in that "green valley".

Timequake

"For a few days after Germany surrendered, on May 7th, 1945...... there was a pocket of anarchy south of Dresden, near the Czech border........ Thousands of prisoners of war like myself had been turned loose, along with death camp survivors with tattooed arms and lunatics and convicted felons and Gypsies, and who knows what else."

Timequake

Souvenir (a Short Story)

"My best buddy Buzzer and Me," said the farmer, "were prisoners of war together in some hills in Germany — in Sudetenland, somebody said it was."

.........

"The farmer, whose name was Eddie, and his best buddy Buzzer walked out into peace and freedom skinny, ragged, dirty and hungry, but with no ill will toward anyone."

...........

"Eddie and Buzzer found themselves swept along by a jostling, plaintive parade of German refugees that jammed the main road through the hills, refugees fleeing from the Russian tanks that growled monotonously and unopposed in the valley behind and below them."


From the POW Camp to Schonwald (Czechoslovakia) to La Harve, France

On May 7th, 1945 about 1,200 POWs from John's camp marched about 20 kilometers west away from the advancing Russians.

On May 8th, 1945 they were in "a town. At about noon they "began to penetrate the German front lines". There was heavy air raids which continued all day. They marched about another 20 kilometers further west.

On May 9th, 1945 they knew the war was over. They arrived in Schonwald (Krasny Les, Czech Republic) where they met up with the Russians.

On May 10th, 1945 they set out by bike for Dresden via Freiberg. After going to Dresden the turned west again and spent the night in the village of Kesseldorf about 12 kilometers from the center of Dresden.

May 11, 1945 there is no indication where they were but this is the day they met up with the American troops someplace between Kesseldorf and Chimnitz. They waited wherever they were for G. I. trucks and then headed for Limbach going past Chimnitz.

On May 12th, 1945 they left Limbach by truck through Gera and arrived at Erfurt around 6 o'clock in the evening.

On May 13th, 1945 John and 24 other flew in a C47 to Rheims, France. His "four friends" including Don Diego were still with him.

On May 14th, 1945 they spent the day in Rheims. After getting some new clothes the group boarded a train for La Harve.

On May 15th and 17th they were on the train to La Harve arriving in La Harve at 2 o'clock in the morning.

20 kilometers is about 12 and a half miles. Two days of marching 20 kilometers a day would mean that they marched about 25 miles form their starting point.

Erfurt

John spent the night of May 12 and May 13 in Erfert.

May 12

Arrived at Erfurts at 6 o'clock in the evening and found out that the planes would not leave until tomorrow. Had a real G.I. dinner last night pork, potatoes, string beans, lima beans, cocoa, bread, butter and stewed apples. As much as we could eat. I believe if one of the Germans ever saw that meal they would drop dead. Sleep in the Luftswaffe barracks and had a good night's sleep.

May 13

Just finished a wonderful breakfast 4 eggs, cream of wheat, prunes, 3 slices of white bread + coffee. I haven't had that much in a month in Germany. Left for the airport at 8 o'clock boarded the C47 at 8:30 headed for Rheims France.



Recovered Allied Military Personnel (RAMP)

According to John's Diary:

May 11, 1945:

"It finally happened the G.I. trucks have returned and are we happy. I rode in a jeep with two Americans and my friends rode in tanks or trucks. Most of us had our first taste of K rations in 6 Months. We are headed for Limback where our forces are stationed."

May 12, 1945:
"Left Limbach by truck for Gera".

They arrived at Erfurt at 6 o'clock. Slept in the Luftwaffe barracks.

May 13, 1945:

"Left for the airport a 8 o'clock boarded the C47 at 8:30 headed for Rheims France."......

"Plane 293715 U.S. Army- 25 men"

"May 14, 1945: Rheims.
He saw the cathedral from the outside but did not go in. He also saw the building "where Eisenhower signed the unconditional surrender".

"Had a wonderful shower and all new clothes. It certainly seems strange to be in army clothes again. Eating good food all day. I am very tired. We have boarded a Red Cross train headed for La Harve. It is very comfortable."

May 15, 1945:

Spent the day on the train and arrived in Le Havre at 2 o'clock in the morning.

May 16 through May 19:
He slept on a cot in a tent. He spent his days eating and resting.

May 20, 1945:
"Received our clothes today so that is another step closer to shipping."

John kept the clothing issue form for Recovered Allied Military Personnel from May 20, 1945. He received: 1 belt, 1 cap, 3 cotton drawers, 4 cotton handkerchiefs, 1 feidl jscket, 1 pair of boot laces, 1 necktie, 1 shirt, 1 pair of shoes or boots, 4 pair of light wool socks, 1 pair of wool trousers, 3 summer sleeveless undershirts, 1 duffel bag, 1 Identity tag necklace, 2 towels, 2 wool blankets, 1 toilet set, 1 can of meat M1932*, 1 canteen M1910, 1 cup M1910, 1 fork M1926, 1 knife M1926, 1 spoon M1926, 1 trousers MBT (?), 1 shirt MBT (?). 1 insignia set, 1 medal

*This was not actually a can of meat, but a military mess kit.

May 21, 1945:
John heard of the death of fellow trainee, fox hole mate and POW, Tom Belli, who tragically died the day after the war ended.

May 22, 1945:
Still waiting.

May 23, 1945:

Moved to "D area"
On May 24, 1945:
"Called for an early breakfast this morning had a wonderful dish of oatmeal. Going to have lots of it at home. Well our processing finally under way. We have been interrogated. Had a physical check up and filled out a lot of other papers. Tomorrow we get paid $20.17 partial payment and with any luck at all we should ship out Sat. or Sun. When we had our physical I reported my ears they seem to have a pressure on them, told to have them checked in U.S. may have been caused by bombs. I only weighed 127 and that was with my shoes on after being about 174 when I was a prisoner it scares me, but I guess I will pick up when I get home. Still feeling nervous perhaps that is what is keeping my weight down. Reported that I thought I had a strain. Dr. check and said it could be my muscles from loss of weight, but advised I have it checked after furlough. Actually physically I feel the way I did after my operation. Sent another cablegram to my wife today 15 words. Sent a letter to Alice today. Went to the movies. Finished the day up going to the Red Cross had a good cheese sandwich and two cups of chocolate."
May 25, 1945:
Still waiting.
May 26, 1945:
Moved back to another area.

May 27 through May 31, 1945:

Still waiting
June 1, 1945:
"Finally happened we are going to ship tomorrow, very excited. I hope it will be a fast trip. I don't suppose I will sleep tonight."
This was the last entry in the diary. To read the full transcription of John's diary go to John's Diary

I do not know what camp John was at in Le Havre. The Army Camps in Le Harve, known as the Cigarette Camps, were named for American cigarette: Camp Chesterfield, Camp Lucky Strike, Camp Old Gold, Camp Philip Morris, Camp Twenty Grand, Camp Herbert Tareyton, Camp Pall Mall, Camp Wings and Camp Home Run. See this great web site about the camps The Cigarette Camps

Luck Strike was a camp frequently mentioned by exPOWs. Camp Lucky Strike

"When American prisoners of war (POWs) started to stream out of Germany, the several camps situated on the Normandy coast near Le Havre, and which had originally been used as staging areas, were now used to take care of the American prisoners of war until they could be sent home. The camps were named after popular cigarettes of the day. Our field hospital was called in to set up at Camp Lucky Strike to handle the massive number of liberated POWs coming out of Germany. Our exact location was at San Riquie en Caux."

Camp Lucky Strike


Coming Home

The ship he was to return on did not arrive in Le Havre until two days after John's excited entry of June 1, 1945. According to the manifest, his ship left France on June 5, 1945 (a Tuesday).

John arrived in New York Harpor aboard the Admiral Benson on June 12, 1945. With him on the ship were several of his fellow POWs: Charlie Cole, Frank don Diego, Bert Leonheart, Howard, Linthicum, Joseph Manzari, and Robert Sulzer.

It must have been quite a scene. According to the New York Times on June 12, 1945: "17,000 jubilant men poured of nine ships in the greatest mass arrival in the history of the harbor" The first ships arrived in the early morning fog and all day long the ships took their turn discharging their passengers on the piers. While the process was slowed because of the heavy fog, the returning veterans were ecstatic: shouting, singing, dancing, hugging while the Army bands played tunes on the piers.

The Navy supertransport, Admiral William S Benson docked at near-by Pier 88, at Forty-eighth Street, with 5,196 soldiers aboard.

To that date 107,000 returning soldiers had passed through New York Harbor.

Note: The list for the S.S. Admiral Benson which sailed from LeHavre, France, included a US ARMY EMBARKATION PERSONNEL ROSTER. I have no idea how it was organized. There is no alphabetical order. It contains a ton of ex POWs but they are not listed by camp, by division or in any kind of order that I can determine.

USS Admiral W. S. Benson (AP-120) launched on 22 November 1943 was a transport ship. She arrived in LeHavre on June 3, 1945

"The following afternoon, she commenced embarking troops, a task which she completed very early the following morning. Among the 5,026 passengers were repatriated allied military prisoners (RAMPs). Standing out of Le Havre at 0800 on 5 June, Admiral W.S. Benson anchored off Staten Island on the evening of the 11th, and then stood up the North River early the following morning. Despite the early hour, the RAMPs on board Admiral W.S. Benson received a hearty reception; the transport "dressed ship" and exchanged whistle signals with passing ships. "New York always does things in a big way," noted the transport's historian."

USS Admiral W. S. Benson (AP-120)

See Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945, AP-120 USS Admiral W.S. Benson for images of the ship.


Hotel Dennis, Atlantic City

John appears to have had a furlough until June 20 when he was assigned to the Hotel Dennis in Atlantic City for "71 Days" for "recuperation, rehabilitation and recovery"

During World War II Atlantic City's convention center and many of its hotels were used by the Army as a training center and as a convalesce center for wounded service men and women. About half a million service men trained in Atlantic City beginning in 1942. Mock assaults completer with real bombs and machine guns were staged on the beaches in preparation for beach landings in Europe and the Pacific.

As large numbers of wounded began returning from overseas, one of the biggest hotels, the Chalfone-Haddon, was converted into a hospital.

At the war's end, retuning veterans, like John were sent to Atlantic City for "R & R" and to bring them back to physical and mental health.

The program was called "Camp Boardwalk".

See Camp Boardwalk Plaque

The Hotel Dennis still exists and has been restored.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Hotel Dennis, Atlantic City, New Jersey


Discharge Papers August 17, 1945

On August 17, 1945 John received an Honorable Discharge from the Army. He was discharged from Ft. Dix New Jersey. This document listed him in Co F 179th Infantry and says his date of active service was February 4, 1944. He entered the service in Newark, New Jersey. It gives the following information pertaining to his service over seas:

  1. Battles and campaigns, "Rhineland.
  2. Service outside the continental US and return.

    Date of Departure      Destination     Date of Arrival
    27 Jul 44                             ETO           12 Aug 44
    2 Oct 44                              ETO           7 Oct 44
    2 Jun 45                              USA          12 Jun 45

    Notes:

    • ETO = European Theater of Operations

    • I believe that these dates and places represent transportation dates. In other words, the first set of dates indicate that he left the US on July 27, 1944 and arrived in Europe on August 12, 1944. The last set of dates indicates that he left Europe on June 2, 1945 and arrived in the US on June 12, 1945. The middle set of dates must represent a transportation form Italy to France. The 45th Infantry fought in Alsace/Lorraine in November 1944.

  3. Continental service 7 months and 28 days
  4. Foreign service 10 months and 16 days

Miscellaneous information from the military papers.

  1. When he was discharged the address was 12 Cooper Place Weehawken.
  2. John graduated from Union City High School, Union City, New Jersey in 1934
  3. He got a certificate from Architecture-Mechanics Inst. New York, New York in 1938
  4. His civilian occupation. Keuffel and Esser Co. Hoboken, 12 years, last date of employment, 1943
    "Foreman of paper converting company. Also was Assistant Superintendent in charge of stock and shipping. Coordinated work of 80 people engaged in shipping Army and Navy supplies."


Weapons

John was listed on his discharge papers as RIFLEMAN.

"Was member 45th Infantry DDivision. Served in Italy and France. Was take prisoner of war by Germans in France on Nov 28, 1944. Is familiar with care and use of the following small ars. M1 Rifle, Carbine, Light machine gun, Tompson Sub Machine gum, Browning Automatic Rifle and 60 MM Mortar."

Survival

For Army privates who were POWs in German camps the major concern was probably just staying alive. Stalag IVB had a death rate of about 19 percent of its prisoners. Why did some survive and other not make it? Studies done after the war indicated that those with a strong desire to "make it", for whatever reason, had a major advantage. Older married men were men, like John, actually did better than younger single men.

See Joseph Land below.


Letter from the War Claims Commission March 1951

In a letter from the War Claims Commission in Washington, D.C. dated March 21, 1951 and addressed to John Joseph Blanck, 260 Standish Avenue, Hackensack, John was awarded $162.00 "to cover the period imprisonment and/or internment, etc. of yourself from 28 November 1944 to 8 May 1945".


Other World War II POWs With Some Association to John Blanck

Others From the 179th Captured November 28, 1944

John never mentioned how many other soldiers were captured with him. However, the records from the National Archives for World War II Prisoners of War (which are online) indicate that 28 soldiers of the 179th were captured on November 28, 1944.

  1. Sam Sharaba, Corporal #35765336, sent to Camp #004, Stalag 3B Furstenberg Brandenburg, Prussia

  2. Martin Briede, private, #35883316 was sent to camp #062, Stalag 3A and work camps (Also Oflag 3-6) Luckenwalde (originally an interrogation center) Brandenburg, Prussia 52-13.

  3. Albert Dipsey, Private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  4. Wayne A Doan #35899085 Private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  5. Ralph W Fumer #24795019, Sergeant, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  6. William E Hannah, #35295652 #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  7. William D Keener, Private, #34961040, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  8. Bert E Leonheart, Corporal, #33436448, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  9. Joseph G Manzari, #32796919, private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  10. John Stepovich, #33715053, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  11. Carl W Taylor #34591995 Private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

  12. BAGGETT ROY W, PFC camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  13. BELLI THOMAS F, PVT camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  14. BERRY LEONARD H SR, PVT camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  15. BLANCK JOHN J, PVT camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  16. BOOTH JOHN W, PVT camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  17. BREWSTER SHEPPARD A, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  18. CALLAZZO JOHN J, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  19. CARTER ROBERT H, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  20. COLE CHARLIE D, PFC, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  21. DALLAS FRED P, PFC, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  22. DON DIEGO FRANK R, PFC, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  23. ECK JACOB P, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  24. FORTENBERRY GROVER J, PFC, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  25. LINTHICUM HOWARD M, PFC, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  26. REED ROY A, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  27. SULZER ROBERT I, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

  28. Raymond Jacks #34920912, Private, no camp listed

All 28 were listed as "Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated" It appears that all 28 of these men made it out of the camps.

Note: Those listed in lower case letters were sent to a variety of POW camps. Those listed in capital letters were sent to Stalag 4B (camp 006).

See more on these POWS below.


American Army Soldiers captured on by the Germans on November 28, 1944

264 American Army soldiers from various divisions were captured by the Germans on Nov 28, 1944. 97 of the were sent to camp 006.


Others Captured and Sent to Stalag 4B (AKA Camp 006)

World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946 indicates that 8,416 American soldiers were captured by the Germans and sent to camp 006 during the course of the war.

It shows that at Stalag 4B:

  • 162 "Died as Prisoner of War".

  • 819 "Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated" Status code 7.

  • 7,408 "Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated" Status code 8.

162 + 819 + 7,408 = 8,389 leaving 27 men unaccounted for.

World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946 indicates that of 143,374 Americans taken prisoner by the Germans 1,953 died in the camps — a death rate of over 13 and a half percent — so about one in every 13 to 14 prisoners died in the camps in general. The percentage was higher in Stalag 4B with a 19 percent death rate.


J Blanck, F Don Diago, E Cataldi, J Cando, E Dahl, and Craft

On the back of the scrap of paper from when he was processed in the camp at Limburg there are six names:

  1. J Blanck - 311261
  2. F Don Diago - 311263
  3. E Cataldi - 311262
  4. J Cando - 311264
  5. E Dahl - 311269
  6. Craft (no initial) - 311272

  7. 5 A 1 -ect Lince ???

Who they were:

  1. F DONDIEGO was Frank Dondiego of the 179th Infantry who was captured on the same day as John. John referred to Frank Don Diago as his friend "Don" in his journal in May 1945. Frank Don Diego, Pfc., Inf, 199 Bergen Street, Newark, was on a list with John of personnel who were assigned on June 15, 1945 to the Hotel Dennis in Atlantic City for 71 days "rehabilitation and recovery."

    See more on Frank Dondiego below.

  2. "E" CATALDI was Alfred Cataldi, Pvt, of the 16th Infantry, one of 23 American prisoners captured, 27 November and sent to camp 006

    See more on Alfred Cataldi below.

  3. J "CANDO" was Jack Condo, E, Pvt of the 16th Infantry one of 11 American prisoners captured 18 November 1944 and sent to camp 006. See more on Jack Condo below.

  4. E DAHL was Eldon W Dahl, Pfc of the 71 Infantry was one of 89 American prisoners captured 26, November 1944 and sent to camp 006. See more on Eldon Dahl below.

  5. CRAFT was Clayton Craft, Pfc of the 28th Infantry, one of 40 American prisoners captured 30, November, 1944 and sent to camp 006. See more on Clayton Craft below.

See more on these POWs below.

Des Callan

John also knew Des Callan who sometime after the war ended sent John a Christmas card with a print of a soldier behind barbed wire with the message "For a Better Year".

Callan, Desmond, PFC, Inf, was one of 1,547 American prisoners captured 21, December 1944, and sent to camp 006.

See more on Des Callan below.


Hugo Forte

Hugo Forte of the 23rd Infantry was captured on December 22, 1944 and sent to Stalag 4B. His grandson wrote to me in January 2010.

See more on Hugo Forte below.


Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr was captured December 21, 1944 and sent to camp 006, Stalag 4 B. While he had no known association with John Blanck, other than being assigned to the same camp, he is perhaps the most famous prisoner of Stalag 4 B. He incorporated some of his war time experiences in the novel Slaughterhouse Five.

See more on Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. below.


  1. Roy Wesley Baggett (1920-1983)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same date of capture, POW camp Stalag IVB.

    Birth: September 26, 1920, Tennessee

    Enlistment: November 21, 1942

    Roy W Baggett Birth Year: 1920 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Tennessee State of Residence: Tennessee County or City: Houston Enlistment Date: 21 Nov 1942 Enlistment State: Georgia Enlistment City: Fort Oglethorpe Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: Grammar school Civil Occupation: Unskilled lumbermen, raftsmen, and woodchoppers Marital Status: Married Height: 72 Weight: 151

    Dog Tags: 34494732

    Division: 179th Infantry

    Capture: Nov 28, 1944

    Camp: #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Roy W Baggett, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    BAGGETT ROY W Private First Class ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 09 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 9, 1945

    Death: Roy Baggett

    BIRTH: 26 Sep 1920 DEATH: Dec 1983 - Erin, Houston, Tennessee, United States of America CIVIL: Tennessee

    More: Find a Grave includes an obituaty which mentions that he was a veteran of WWII does not mention that he was a POW.

  2. Thomas F Belli (1914-1945)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, Stalag IVB, mentioned in John's diary "(Tom Belli) who trained with me in the states and who use to be in the same fox hole together- to be exact we were captured together.

    Birth: 1914, New York

    According to the 1930 census, Thomas Belli was the son of Joseph and Ida Belli of Thursby Ave Queens.

    Marriage: Mariam

    After 1942? Not listed in NYC grooms which go up to 1942.

    Child: A daughter according to John's diary.

    Enlistment: 29 Dec 1943

    Thomas F Belli, Birth Year: 1914, Race: Nativity State or Country: New York, State of Residence: New York, County or City: Queens Enlistment Date: 29 Dec 1943, Enlistment State: New York, Enlistment City: New York City, Branch: No branch assignment, No branch assignment Grade: Private, Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Civil Life Education: 1 year of high school, Civil Occupation: Firemen, fire department, Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 42062616

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    April 1945: 12 Queens soldiers previously reported as missing in action were said to be prisoners of war. Thomas F. Belli, private, husband of Marion Belli of 516 Beach 72nd street.

    ARVERNE SOLDIER CAPTURED IN FRANCE

    Private Thomas F. Belli of Arverne was taken prisoner by the Germans Nov. 28 in France while fighting as an infantryman with the 7th Army.

    A native of Arverne, he attended Public School 42 in that community and later was graduated for Browne's Business School Jamaica. Before he entered the Army in January 1944 he was employed at Fort Tilden, Rockaway Point. He went overseas in August.

    Private Belli's wife, the former Marion Intrabartola, lives with their 2-year-old daughter Marion, at 526 Beach 72nd street, next door to her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dominick Intrabargola. Private Belli's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Belli of 69-42 Thursday Avenue, Arverne.

    Camp: #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Thomas F Belli, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 12 Oct 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Infantry, Parent Unit Type: 4E, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 42062616 BELLI THOMAS F GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 22P Infantry PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 4E Undefined Code AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 12 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 10 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: He died in Europe the day after the war was over.

    Thomas and John trained together in the states, were in the same same fox hole when they were captured.

    Death: John's Journal May 21, 1945

    "Routine the same today just eating and resting. Raining most of the day went to bed very early- very cold. Heard some very bad news yesterday one of the boys who was at a prison camp in Germany with a fellow (Tom Belli) who trained with me in the states and who use to be in the same fox hole together- to be exact we were captured together. The day after the war was over he was riding in a G.I. truck which was strafed + bombed by a Russian planes (mistake) truck turned over and he was killed. It was a shock he had a wife and baby daughter. Again I realize how good God has been to me."
    Tom Belli did NOT die in May 1945. He died in June 1970. Listed in his obituary as: a WWII veteran, a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the son of Joseph and Ida Belli and the husband of Marion. He had two daughters, both married. He also left three grandsons.

    Thomas F Belli, Birth Date: 2 Apr 1914, Age at Death: 56, Death Date: 18 Jun 1970, Burial Place: Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York, USA

    More: Marian Belli, Service Info.: PVT US ARMY, Birth Date: 24 Nov 1917, Death Date: 20 Sep 1991, Relation: Wife of Belli, Thomas F, Interment Date: 24 Sep 1991, Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery, Cemetery Address: 2040 Wellwood Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735-1211 Buried At: Section 2x Site 3950

    Thomas F. Belli Pvt deceased was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross #18394 +1 Sil Device on 10 March 1971. mailed to C/O William McLaughlin 253-08 147th Road Rosedale, NY 11422. The Conspicuous Service Cross is awarded to those members of the New York Organised Militia who were prisoners of war. It is also awarded for other merit.

  3. Leonard Hamilton Berry, Sr. (1914-1986)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, Stalag IVB.

    Birth: 1914

    Enlistment: Leonard H Berry Sr Birth Year: 1914, Nativity State or Country: Virginia, State of Residence: Georgia, County or City: Mc Duffee, Enlistment Date: 18 Jan 1944, Enlistment State: Georgia, Enlistment City: Fort McPherson Atlanta Branch: No branch assignment, Branch Code: No branch assignment, Grade: Private, Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life, Education: 4 years of high school Civil Occupation: Managers and officials, n.e.c. Marital Status: Married Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 34834730

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1922

    Camp: BERRY LEONARD H SR, PVT camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Leonard H Sr Berry, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006 Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    34834730 BERRY LEONARD H SR GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 07 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 7, 1945

    Death: Leonard H Berry Death Date: 2 Dec 1986 County of Death: Richmond Gender: M (Male) Race: White Age: 72 years County of Residence: McDuffie Certificate: 045663 Date Filed: 16 Dec 1986

    Leonard Berry Sr., SSN: 226-05-9846, Last Residence: 30824 Thomson, Mcduffie, Georgia, USA, BORN: 7 Sep 1914, Died: Dec 1986, State (Year) SSN issued: Virginia (Before 1951)

    More: Mrs. Frances Lambertson Berry EVANS, Ga. - Mrs. Frances Lambertson Berry, 95, passed away peacefully Sunday, September 12, 2010, at her residence at Brandon Wilde in Evans. Mrs. Berry, who resided in Thomson for over 50 years, was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard Hamilton Berry of Thomson, and her eldest son, Leonard Hamilton Berry, Jr., of Australia. She is survived by her son, Dr. Robert E. (Vickie) Berry of Thomson; her daughter, Mrs. Marion (Jo Ann) Crolley of Cramerton, NC; and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Leonard (Diana Newport) of Australia. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mrs. Berry was a member of First Baptist Church of Thomson. She was a former member of the Captain John Wilson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Arrangements for a memorial service are pending. McDuffie

  4. John Blanck (1915-1976)

    Birth: 1915 New Jersey

    Enlistment: 14 Jan 1944

    U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 Record: John J Blanck, Birth Year: 1915 Race: White, citizen Nativity State or Country: New Jersey State: New Jersey County or City: Hudson, Enlistment Date: 14 Jan 1944 Enlistment State: New Jersey Enlistment City: Newark Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life, Education: 4 years of high school, Civil Occupation: Laboratory Technician, Motion Picture or Shipping Clerk, Marital Status: Single, without dependents, Height: 06 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 42104261

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: John J Blanck, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 26 Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    NARA POW Record: 42104261 NAME BLANCK JOHN J GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY (DD) 28 DATE REPORT: MONTH (MM) 11 DATE REPORT: YEAR (Y) 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 26 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: June 12, 1945, Admiral Benson

    Last Report Date: June 26, 1945

    Death: Labor Day, September 3, 1976, Belmar, New jersey

    More:

  5. John W Booth

    Common name.

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, same camp

    Birth:

    Enlistment:

    Dog Tags: 36901139

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: John W Booth, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 20 Jul 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 36901139 BOOTH JOHN W GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 20 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 07 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: No with that Dog Tag #

    Last Report Date: July 20, 1945

    Death:

    More:

  6. Sheppard A Brewster (1924-2000)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture, Stalag IVB

    Birth: 1924, New Jersey

    Enlistment: 9 Jul 1943

    Sheppard A Brewster Birth Year: 1924 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: New Jersey State of Residence: New Jersey County or City: Cumberland Enlistment Date: 9 Jul 1943 Enlistment State: New Jersey Enlistment City: Camden Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: Grammar school Civil Occupation: Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 44 Weight: 424

    Dog Tags: 32953821

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: BREWSTER SHEPPARD A, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Sheppard A Brewster, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 10 Aug 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    32953821 BREWSTER SHEPPARD A GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 10 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 08 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: August 10, 1945

    Death: Sheppard A. Brewster BIRTH: 13 May 1924 DEATH: 10 Feb 2000 - Millville, Cumberland, New Jersey, United States of America CIVIL: New Jersey

    More: Sheppard Brewster, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 13 May 1924, Death Date: 10 Feb 2000, SSN: 146148256, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 30 Jul 1943, Release Date 1: 3 Dec 1945

  7. Martin Briede (1912-1972)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date

    Birth:

    The only Martin Briede listed by Ancestry.com was born about 1912 in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio.

    SSDI lists 21 Jan 1912 died June 1972, Ohio

    Martin Briede of Cincinnati was a bowler. The 55th American Bowling Congress tournament in Syracuse New York listed "Martin Briede of Cincinnati is sixth" in the singles. Hamilton Daily News Journal, Ohio April 1, 1958.

    Enlistment: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    WWII POW: Martin Briede, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: May 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Infantry, Parent Unit Type: Divisional Artillery, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 062, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    Dog Tags: 35883316

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Stalag 3A and work camps (Also Oflag 3-6) Luckenwalde (was originally interrogation center) Brandenburg, Prussia 52-13

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 35883316 BRIEDE MARTIN GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 22P Infantry PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 45 Divisional Artillery AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 08 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 05 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 062 Stalag 3A and work camps (Also Oflag 3-6) Luckenwalde (was originally interrogation center) Brandenburg, Prussia 52-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: May 8, 1945

    Death: Martin J Briede, Ohio, June 03, 1972, Age at Death: 60

    More: Martin Briede, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 21 Jan 1912, Death Date: 3 Jun 1972, SSN: 268100556, Enlistment Date 1: 17 Jan 1944, Release Date 1: 17 Jan 1946, Branch 2: UNK

    Martin J Briede, Birth Date: 1912, Gender: Male, Race: White, Residence Place: Hamilton, Ohio, United States, Death Date: 3 Jun 1972, Hospital of Death: Deaconess Hospital, Death Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, USA, Certificate: 045058, Age at Death: 60, Certifier: Physician, Autopsy: No Autopsy performed, Marital Status: Married

    Martin Briede, SSN: 268-10-0556, BORN: 21 Jan 1912, Died: Jun 1972, State (Year) SSN issued: Ohio (Before 1951)

  8. John J Callazzo (1911-1957)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, Stalag IVB

    Birth: 1911, Pennsylvania

    Enlistment: 18 Oct 1943

    John J Callazzo Birth Year: 1911 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Pennsylvania State of Residence: Pennsylvania Enlistment Date: 18 Oct 1943 Enlistment State: Pennsylvania Enlistment City: Philadelphia Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: Grammar school Civil Occupation: Bartenders Marital Status: Married Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 33802427

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: CALLAZZO JOHN J, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: John J Callazzo, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 12 Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 33802427 CALLAZZO JOHN J GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 12 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 12, 1945

    1950: Application for WWII Compensation Callazzo, John J, 1850 Ashurst Rd. Philadelphia, born Jan 10, 1911, Service dates, Nov 8, 1943, to July 27, 1944 and June 15, 1945 to Nov 27, 1945, In foreign service from July 28, 1944 to June 15, 1945. Death: 1957 application for Head Stone Marker, Callazzo, John J. Inducted 11-18-43 discharged 11-27-45 Service No. 33802427 Pension of Va Claim XL 65 26513, state Penn. Grade, Private 1st Class, Medals Purple Heart with oak -- cluster, US. Army, Co. F. 1st division, date of birth, 1-10-11, date of death 3-21-57, applicant Mrs. Ethel M Callazzo, 1850 Ashurst St. Philadelphia, burried Holly Cross Cem. Yeadon, Pa. Wife, Ethel and child Bernadette, total amount due $305.

    More:

  9. John Desmond Callan (1925-2006)

    Association with John Blanck: Stalag IVB

    The both mention shoveling coal.

    "was later part of forced retreats as the Allied troops advanced through Germany"

    After the war John received a Christmas card from Des Callan with an image of a soldier behind barbed wire and the message "For a Better Year".

    Birth: 1925

    Enlistment: 12 Nov 1943

    Desmond Callan Birth Year: 1925 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Massachusetts State of Residence: Massachusetts County or City: Norfolk, Enlistment Date: 12 Nov 1943 Enlistment State: Massachusetts Enlistment City: Fort Devens Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Reserves - exclusive of Regular Army Reserve and Officers of the Officers Reserve Corps on active duty under the Thomason Act (Officers and Enlisted Men -- O.R.C. and E.R.C., and Nurses-Reserve Status) Source: Enlisted Reserve or Medical Administrative Corps (MAC) Officer Education: 4 years of high school Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 48 Weight: 046

    Dog Tags: 11132799

    Division: 0423

    Capture: December 21, 1944, Battle of the Bulge

    Camp: 006 Stalag 4 B Muhlberg

    WWII POW: NARA POW Record: Not listed Ancestry, 2014

    11132799 11132799 NAME CALLAN DESMOND GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 21 MONTH 12 YEAR (Y) 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0423 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 72 European Theatre: Germany LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 13 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Did not find.

    Last Report Date: June 13, 1945

    Death: July 22, 2002

    Desmond Callan M.D., physician, Hillsdale, N.Y., on July 22, 2002. Callan proved something of a maverick from the start, forcing the hospital nursery to shut down in response to his case of newborn impetigo. He spent his early years in Wellesley, Mass., where his father, a charismatic Episcopal minister from Britain, served as chaplain of Wellesley College. Callan attended Milton Academy and entered Harvard University in the fall of 1943. By the end of his first semester, he had enlisted in the Army, and he arrived in Europe in October 1944. Two months later, his regiment was forced to surrender to the Germans at the outset of the Battle of the Bulge. He spent the rest of the war in German prisoner-of-war camps and on work details in southern and eastern Germany. The bitter winter weather, combined with the slim rations and harsh conditions - he shoveled coal at a German factory and was later part of forced retreats as the Allied troops advanced through Germany - caused his health to fail. By the time his POW camp near Muhlberg was liberated by Soviet troops in the spring of 1945, he was suffering from malnutrition, beriberi* and dysentery. In February 1946, after months of recuperation, he entered the College, gravitating immediately to student political activities. By this time, he had shed his conservative roots and embraced the ideals of the left. Callan graduated from the College with a bachelor's degree in history, but with a wife to support (he was married for the first time in 1948), he decided to study electronics at a trade school. He subsequently landed a job as a technician in the neurophysiology lab at Columbia. In 1956, he entered P&S, graduating in 1960. After his internship, he served as acting director of the neurology clinic at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and was later named a director of clinics at Yale University. By 1963, in addition to his medical duties, Callan had returned to activist politics. The following year, three young civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi, and Callan and a group of other physicians and medical professionals responded by forming the Medical Committee for Human Rights. By this time, his professional interests were moving away from neurology, his initial specialty, and toward the delivery of health care through community centers. He worked for seven years in administrative medicine at the Martin Luther King community health center in the Bronx. From 196870, Callan served as the medical director of a community health center on the Lower East Side. He also wrote extensively about national health issues as a staff member of the progressive medical think tank the Health Policy Advisory Center. He moved to Columbia County in 1979, opening an office first in South Egremont, Mass., then in Hillsdale, and finally in Copake Falls. The focus of his practice was geriatrics and adult patients with chronic illnesses. During his early years in the county, he worked a few days each week in Manhattan, where he was medical director of the Chinatown Health Clinic. In 1987, Callan married Georgene Gardner.

    Although he retired from practicing medicine in 1994, Callan remained extremely active, teaching young physicians working at the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., and serving on numerous boards, including the Roe Jan Historical Society, where he was president until shortly before his death. Said his friend, Joseph Russell '49, "Des was truly a remarkable guy, a most proper Bostonian with the plummiest prep school diction and the broadest and most generous social conscience imaginable." Callan is survived by his wife; daughter, Lyndie; son, Rich; sisters, Cristine Callan and Mary Bailey; stepson, Jason Gardner; and two grandchildren.

    Columbia College Today

    * Beriberi is a disease caused by a lack of vitamin B1. Symptoms include: difficulty walking, loss of sensation in the hands and feet. mental confusion, tingling, vomiting.

    More:

    "John Desmond Callan '43, died on July 22, 2002 - the eve of his 77th birthday. He attended Harvard University, and shortly after, enlisted in the Army. He arrived in Europe in October 1944; two months later, he was a prisoner of war in German camps, suffering winter weather, meager food rations and poor working conditions combined with forced retreats as the Allies advanced through Germany.

    "When the POW camp near Muhlberg was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945, Desmond suffered from malnutrition, beriberi and dysentery. Many other POWs in the infirmary died - many because they traded food for cigarettes! He was henceforth an implacable foe of tobacco.

    "In February 1945 Desmond entered Columbia University. He newly embraced the ideals of the left, becoming a lifelong social activist. He earned a degree in history, then worked as a technician in a neurophysiology lab at Columbia. This inspired him to earn a medical degree from Columbia, which he did in 1960. Thereafter, his career was driven by social activism."

    Desmond Callen Community Health Center 2006 Annual Report

  10. Robert H Carter

    Note: The name is quite common.

    Birth:

    Enlistment:

    Dog Tags: 37730941

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: CARTER ROBERT H, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Robert H Carter, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 21 Jul 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    37730941 NAME CARTER ROBERT H GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 21 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 07 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Did not find him as of March 2010.

    Last Report Date: July 21, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, same camp

    Death:

    More:

  11. Alfred Cataldi (1919-1991)

    Association with John Blanck: Alfred Cataldi was captured 27 November, 1944, the day before the capture of John Blanck. He was sent to Muhlberg Sachen Stalag IV B with John Blanck. On the back of a scrap of paper that John had from the war from when he was processed in the camp at Limburg were six names written in pencil: J Blanck, F Don Diago, "E" Cataldi, J Cando, E Dahl, and Craft (no initial). See Copies of Military Documents

    Birth: 1919 per age at death, Obituary. Alfred Cataldi, Birth Date: 5 Jun 1918, Address: 348 N Tyson Ave, City: Glenside, State: PA Zip Code: 19038-3121

    Enlistment: Alfred Cataldi, Birth Year: 1918, Race: White, citizen (White), Nativity State or Country: Pennsylvania, State of Residence: Pennsylvania, Enlistment Date: 1 Jun 1944, Enlistment State: Pennsylvania, Enlistment City: New Cumberland, Branch: No branch assignment, Branch Code: No branch assignment, Grade: Private, Grade Code: Private, Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life, Education: Grammar school Civil Occupation: Semiskilled chauffeurs and drivers, bus, taxi, truck, and tractor Marital Status: Married, Height: 96 Weight: 903

    Dog Tag: 33941451

    Division: 0016

    The 16th Infantry

    Capture: November 27, 1944

    Camp: Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    WWII POW: Alfred Cataldi, Report Date: 27 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: Germany, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 33941451 CATALDI ALFRED Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 27 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0016 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 72 European Theatre: Germany LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY 08 MONTH 06 YEAR 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13
    Return Stateside: Did not find.

    Last Report Date: June 8, 1945

    Application for Compensation: Alfred Cataldi, 46 Limekilen pike, Glenside, Pa, June 1 to Sept 29, 1944 and June 20, '45 to Nov 19, 1945 date and place where applicant entered service, New Cumberland, Pa. Seperated Nov 19, 1945 Hosp. Center sep Point, Cp Butner, N. C., two children, Joseph age 7, and Betty Ann age 6, Jan 17, 1950, awarded $225.00

    Death 1991:

    "Alfred Cataldi of Glenside died Sunday at Abington Memorial Hospital. He was 72.

    Born in Abington, he was a son of the late Joseph and Madeline Penecale Cataldi.

    Mr. Cataldi, a longtime resident of Edgehill, was a graduate of Cheltenham High School and was employed for many years as a sheet metal worker at the Budd Co. Red Lion plant. He retied in 1974.

    An Army veteran of World War II, he served in the Europe and was held a prisoner of war by Germany. He received the POW medal, Combat Infantryman medal, Victory World War II medal, Bronze Star, honorable service medal and the European-African-Middle East Campaign Ribbon."

    Obituary in the Intelligencer, Doylestown Pennsylvania, March 5, 1991

    More: In December 2009 I received an email from Alfred Cataldi's daughter, Betty who said:
    "Listed under Prisoners of War is my father's name - Pvt. Alfred Cataldi. He was one of the prisoners of war listed on the scrap of paper. My father did make it out of the camp. He did struggle with various health problems over the years. He died in March, 1991. He was born and raised in Glenside, PA a suburb of Phila. Betty Cataldi- his daughter
    More: Betty Cataldi wrote again in April 2010 in reply to some questions I had about her father. She said she did not remember him saying anything about the Czech Republic.

    My father, like your father-in-law and most GI's never talked about their prisoner of war experiences. There were no groups to help the men get through the nightmares,etc. when they got home."

    She said his feet were damaged from all the walking.

    "I remember him saying there were two reasons he survived the camp/s. One was he played the harmonica---he had several sizes and was pretty good. The Germans enjoyed the entertainment. The second was his wallet contained a picture of a Hollywood starlet, I forget the name. Anyway, the Germans asked him if that was his wife and he said yes. He said they thought that was good. (The fact that he had such a pretty wife.)

    "He died in March, 1991. Two years before he died, I approached him and started to ask him a lot of questions. It was a very hard conversation to have. When he died, I was at a place where I coordinated his viewing and funeral. He had a full military burial with taps being played at his gravesite. He received the Bronze Star Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Prisoner of War Medal. All were prominently display inside his casket at the viewing."
    1897 Alfred Cataldi of Glenside enjoying the sunshine.

  12. Charlie D Cole (1919-)

    Associations with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, Stalag IVB, returned on same ship in June 1945.

    Birth: 1919, Idaho

    Enlistment: 24 Aug 1944

    Charles D Cole Birth Year: 1919 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Idaho State of Residence: Idaho County or City: Twin Falls Enlistment Date: 24 Aug 1944 Enlistment State: Utah Enlistment City: Fort Douglas Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 1 year of high school Civil Occupation: Farm hands, general farms Marital Status: Married Height: 60 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 39922783

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: COLE CHARLIE D, PFC, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW:

    Charlie D Cole Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 22 Apr 1946, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Infantry, Parent Unit Type: Divisional Artillery, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    39922783 COLE CHARLIE D GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 22P Infantry PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 45 Divisional Artillery AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 22 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 04 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1946 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 7 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: 4- (Lib) 294567 Cole, Charlie D, 39922783 Pfc, 179th Inf 23 Apr 45 $50.44 2,500 Fr, RFD #1, Declo, Idaho, June 12, 1945, Admiral Benson, New York

    Last Report Date: April 22, 1946

    Death:

    More:

  13. Jack Condo (1924-1987)

    Association with John Blanck: Listed on the processing paper form Limberg. Sent to same camp. Captured 10 days before John.

    J Cando #311264 clearly written on the back of the processing paper from Limberg POW camp. However, based on the information from NARA the name was Condo

    Birth: 1924, Kentucky, lived in Hamilton, Ohio in 1930

    Enlistment: 20 Feb 1943

    Jack E Condo Birth Year: 1924 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Kentucky State of Residence: Kentucky Enlistment Date: 20 Feb 1943 Enlistment State: Ohio Enlistment City: Cincinnati Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 2 years of high school Civil Occupation: Semiskilled warehousing, storekeeping, handling, loading, unloading, and related occupations, n.e.c. Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 68 Weight: 135

    Dog Tags: 35790101

    Division: 0016

    The 16th Infantry

    Capture: November 18, 1944

    Camp: 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    WWII POW: Jack E Condo Report Date: 18 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: Germany, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    WWII POW: Clayton C Craft, Report Date: 30 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 14 Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: Germany, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 35790101 CONDO JACK E GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 18 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0016 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 72 European Theatre: Germany LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 6, 1945

    Death:

    Jack E Condo Birth Date: 1925 Birth State: Kentucky Birth Country: United States Gender: Male Race: White Residence City: Norwood Residence County: Hamilton Residence State: Ohio Residence Country: United States Death Date: 6 Jan 1987 Hospital of Death: Deaconess Hospital City of Death: Cincinnati County of Death: Hamilton Certificate: 003281 Age at Death: 62 Certifier: Physician Social Security Number: 278-18-6476 Marital Status: Married Industry of Decedent: Motor vehicle dealers Occupation of Decedent: Sales workers, motor vehicles and boats Census Tract: 0252

    SSN: 278-18-6476 Born: 2 Nov 1924 Last Benefit: 45212 Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, United States of America Died: Jan 1987 State (Year) SSN issued: Ohio (Before 1951)

    More:

  14. Clayton C Craft (1915-1989)

    Association with John Blanck: Listed with John on the price of paper from Limberg, Stalag IVB

    Birth: 1915 Ohio

    Enlistment: 7 Mar 1944

    Clayton C Craft Birth Year: 1915 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Ohio State of Residence: Ohio County or City: Auglaize Enlistment Date: 7 Mar 1944 Enlistment State: Kentucky Enlistment City: Fort Thomas Newport Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 3 years of high school Civil Occupation: Semiskilled occupations in production of rubber goods Marital Status: Married Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 35071192

    Division: 0028

    The 28th Infantry

    Capture: November 30, 1944

    Camp: Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    NARA POW Record:

    5071192 CRAFT CLAYTON C GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 30 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0028 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 72 European Theatre: Germany LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 14 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed Ancestry.com as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 14, 1945

    Death:

    Clayton C Craft Birth Date: 24 Nov 1915 Birth State: Ohio Birth Country: United States Gender: Male Race: White Hispanic Origin: Not Hispanic (Latino) Residence County: Auglaize Residence State: Ohio Residence Country: United States Death Date: 3 Jan 1989 Hospital of Death: Joint Township St Marys City of Death: St Marys County of Death: Auglaize Certificate: 000223 Age at Death: 73 Certifier: Physician Referred to Coroner: No Autopsy: No Filing Date: 9 Jan 1989 Hospital Status: Hospital/Inpatient Injury in Ohio: Yes Type Place of Injury: Unspecified Place Social Security Number: 489-14-4230 Father's Surname: Craft Marital Status: Widowed Education: 11 Industry of Decedent: Agricultural production, crops Occupation of Decedent: Farmers, except horticultural Primary Registration District: 0601

    Clayton C. Craft BIRTH: 24 Nov 1915 DEATH: 3 Jan 1989 - Saint Marys, Auglaize, Ohio, United States of America CIVIL: Missouri

    Clayton C Craft Birth Date: 24 Nov 1915 Death Date: 3 Jan 1989 Age at Death: 73 Death Place: St Marys, Ohio Spouse: Violet Smith Marriage Date: 5 Nov 1938 Parents: William & Anna Newspaper: Lima News; Wapakoneta Daily News, Lima; Wapakoneta, Ohio Newspaper Date: 4 Jan 1989 Newspaper Page: p. 3, col. 1 Years Indexed: 2004-current Newspaper Repository: Auglaize Co. Pub. Dist. Library - Wapakoneta, Oh; Lima Public Library; Auglaize Co. Pub. Dist. Library - Wapakoneta, Oh; Lima Public Library Other Sources: Wapakoneta Obituary File, Auglaize County Public District Library Source Description: A Card File Of Obituary Clippings. To Order A Copy, See www.rbhayes.org/hayes/index/partners/minster.asp Library Link: 476410

    More:

  15. Eldon W Dahl

    Association with John Blanck: "E Dahl" was on the list with John from Limberg, Stalag IVB

    There were several E Dahls at Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13. Based on the date he was captured Eldon W. Dahl is most likely the one associated with John Blanck.

    Birth:

    Enlistment: Did not find an enlistment record for for Eldon W Dahl. There is an Eldon H Dahl listed by Ancestry.com

    Dog Tags: 37552053

    Division: 0071

    Capture: November 26, 1944

    Camp: Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    WWII POW: Eldon W Dahl, Report Date: 26 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 14 Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: German, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    37552053 DAHL ELDON W GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 26 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0071 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 14 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Did not find.

    Last Report Date: June 14, 1945

    Death:

    More:

  16. Fred Paul Dallas (1924-)

    Association with John Blanck: 179th Infantry, Company F, same capture date, Stalag IVB

    Birth: 1924, Mississippi

    Enlistment: 10 Nov 1943

    Fred P Dallas Birth Year: 1924 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Mississippi State of Residence: Mississippi County or City: Neshoba Enlistment Date: 10 Nov 1943 Enlistment State: Mississippi Enlistment City: Camp Shelby Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 3 years of high school Civil Occupation: Farm hands, general farms Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 66 Weight: 696

    Dog Tags: 34876605

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Fred P Dallas, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 2 Jul 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    34876605 DALLAS FRED P GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 02 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 07 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: July 2, 1945

    Death: Still living in 2014.

    Paul Dallas was in the same Company, same division, was captured the same day, and sent to both Limberg and Stalag 4 B around the same time as John. It is quite possible that they shared these experiences in common.

  17. Albert Dipsey (1924-2002)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, different camp.

    Birth: 23 June, 1924. There is only one Albert Dipsey who comes up on Ancestry.com

    Enlistment: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Dog Tags: 32769840

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Albert Dipsey, Private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    WWII POW: Albert Dipsey, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 32769840 DIPSEY ALBERT DIPSEY ALBERT GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 08 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 8, 1945

    Death: Albert Dipsey BIRTH: 23 Jun 1924 DEATH: 9 Feb 2002 - Little Falls, Passaic, New Jersey, United States of America CIVIL: New Jersey

    More:

  18. Wayne A Doan (1921-1992)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, different camp.

    Birth: 19 March 1921, Indiana

    Enlistment: Wayne A Doan Birth Year: 1921 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Indiana State of Residence: Indiana County or City: Madison Enlistment Date: 18 Nov 1943 Enlistment State: Indiana Enlistment City: Indianapolis Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 2 years of high school Civil Occupation: Foremen, manufacturing Marital Status: Married Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: #35899085

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Wayne A Doan #35899085 Private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: Wayne A Doan, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 12 Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 35899085 DOAN WAYNE A GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 12 8 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 8 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 8, 1945

    Death: Wayne A. Doan BIRTH: 19 Mar 1921 DEATH: 24 Dec 1992 - Elwood, Madison, Indiana, United States of America CIVIL: Indiana

    More:

  19. Frank R Dondiego [Don Diego] (1918-1992)

    Associations with John Blanck:

    • Private 179th Infantry
    • Captured with John Blanck and others in Mulhausen, France on November 28, 1944
    • Listed on the Scrap of paper with John and others
    • Sent with John Blanck and others to Stalag 4B Muhlberg.
    • Mentioned in the journal John kept when they left the POW camp and made their way to the Allied lines.
    • Returned on the same ship June 12, 1945.
    • John and "Don" (as John referred to him) did "rehabilitation and recovery" together in the Hotel Dennis in Atlantic city, New Jersey in the summer of 1945.

    Birth: 1918, New Jersey

    Enlistment: "Diego, Frank R Don" born 1918, New Jersey, Essex, Enlistment date, 19 Nov 1943, Newark, private, married, civil occupation, foreman, manufacturing

    Dog Tags: 42100405

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    WWI POW: Diego Frank R Don, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 28 Mar 1946, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Infantry, Parent Unit Type: Divisional Artillery,, Area Served: European Theatre: France Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    DON DIEGO FRANK R, PFC

    SERIAL NUMBER 42100405 PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 22P Infantry PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 45 Divisional Artillery AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 28 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 03 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1946 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 7
    DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY
    CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

  20. Return Stateside: 4-A (Lib) #311263 Dondiego, Frank R Pfc #42100405 179th Infantry, 8 May 45 Idne $50.44 2,500 Fr 199 Bergen St Newark, NJ. June 12 1945 Admiral Benson

    Last Report Date: March 28, 1946

    Death: 1992, Frank R Dondiego born 10 June 1918, died 31 July 1992, Newark, New Jersey

    More:

  21. Jacob P Eck (1911-1988)

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, captured same date, same camp

    Birth: 1911 Kansas

    Enlistment: Birth Year: 1911 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Kansas State of Residence: Illinois County or City: Will Enlistment Date: 10 Dec 1943 Enlistment State: Illinois Enlistment City: Chicago Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 4 years of high school Civil Occupation: Farm hands, general farms Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 66 Weight: 600

    Dog Tags: 6857886

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: ECK JACOB P, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Jacob P Eck, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    6857886 ECK JACOB P GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR ) 4 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 6, 1945

    Death: Jacob P. Eck BIRTH: 17 Oct 1911 DEATH: 24 Dec 1988 CIVIL: Kansas

    More:

  22. Grover J Fortenberry (1912-1982)

    Birth: 1912, Mississippi

    Enlistment: Grover J Fortenberry Birth Year: 1912 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Mississippi State of Residence: Mississippi County or City: Marion Enlistment Date: 6 Nov 1943 Enlistment State: Mississippi Enlistment City: Camp Shelby Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 4 years of high school Civil Occupation: General farmers Marital Status: Married Height: 99 Weight: 099

    Dog Tags: 34876348

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: FORTENBERRY GROVER J, PFC, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Grover J Fortenberry, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 26 Jul 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    34876348 FORTENBERRY GROVER J GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 26 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 07 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: July 26, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, same camp.

    Death: Grover Fortenberry BIRTH: 10 Mar 1912 DEATH: Oct 1982 - Foxworth, Marion, Mississippi, United States of America CIVIL: Mississippi

    More:

  23. Hugo A Forte (1919-1994)

    Birth: 24 Dec 1919 Bronx, New York

    Enlistment: Hugo A Forte born 1919, New York, living in the Bronx enlisted 26 May 1943, height 69, weight 100.

    Dog Tags: 32961534

    Division: 0023

    Capture: December 22, 1944

    Camp: Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    WWII POW: Hugo A Forte, Report Date: 22 Dec 1944, Latest Report Date: 29 Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: 790, Parent Unit Type: Battalion/Training Battalion Combat/Special Troops, Area Served: European Theatre: Belgium, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW: Shared by Jason Forte, grandson of Hugo Forte, January 2010:

    SERIAL NUMBER: 32961534
    NAME: FORTE, HUGO A
    GRADE: ALPHA, PVT, Private
    GRADE CODE: 8, Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman
    SERVICE CODE: 1 ARMY, Infantry
    ARM OR SERVICE CODE: 10, INF: INFANTRY
    DATE REPORT: DAY 22 MONTH 12 YEAR 1944
    TYPE OF ORGANIZATION: 790 Undefined Code
    PARENT UNIT NUMBER: 0023
    PARENT UNIT TYPE: 07, Battalion/Training Battalion Combat/Special Troops,
    AREA: 77, European Theatre: Belgium
    LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 29 MONTH (MM) 06 YEAR (Y) 1945
    SOURCE OF REPORT 1, Individual has been reported through sources considered official.
    STATUS: 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
    DETAINING POWER: 1 GERMANY
    CAMP: 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13
    POW TRANSPORT SHIPS

    Return Stateside:

    Did not find on Ancestry.com under Hugo A Forte as of May 2014.

    Last Report Date: June 29, 1945

    Marriage: August 1946 an announcement of the marriage of Hugo Forte of 2406 Lorillard Place, Bronx, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Sabiano Forte to Miss Angelina Cerbone, daughter of Joseph and Josephine Cerbone in the R. C. Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

    " A former German prisoner of war, the bridegroom served for three years in the Army and was with the Seventh Armored Division at the battle of the Bulge. Recently discharged he is now with the Tissue Products company in New York City."
    He was a graduate of the Harren High School in New York.

    Association with John Blanck: Same POW camp

    Death: SSDI 6 Oct 1994, Mount Washington, Westchester, New York

    More: Jason Forte is trying to gather more information on his grandfather. If you have anything to share you can contact him at Jason.forte@asapresourcegroup.com

    More: Jason wrote on March 30, 2010:

    "After Action and Battle Reports for the 23rd Armored Infantry Battalion (7th Armored Division) Month of December 1944. My Grandfather is listed as MIA. During the St.Vith campaign the same time frame he is listed as POW on the NRA reports."
    Hugo Forte, Birth Date: 24 Dec 1919, Death Date: 1 Oct 1994, SSN: 131107690, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 9 Jun 1943, Release Date 1: 29 Nov 1945

    Hugo Forte, SSN: 131-10-7690, Last Residence: 10552 Mount Vernon, Westchester, New York, USA, BORN: 24 Dec 1919, Died: 6 Oct 199,4 State (Year) SSN issued: New York (Before 1951)

  24. Ralph W Fulmer (1924-)

    Birth: 1924 Alabama

    Enlistment: Ralph W Fulmer Birth Year: 1924 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Alabama State of Residence: Florida County or City: Orange Enlistment Date: 27 Oct 1943 Enlistment State: Florida Enlistment City: Camp Blanding Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: Grammar school Civil Occupation: General farmers Marital Status: Married Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 34795019

    Division: 179th

    Capture: Nov 28, 1944

    Camp: Ralph W Fumer #34795019, Sergeant, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: Ralph W Fulmer Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 1 Jun 1945, Grade: Sergeant, Grade Notes: Captain or Asst. superintendent of nurses or Asst. director of nurses or Chief dietitian or Chief physical therapy aides or Sergeant or Technician 4th Grade or Lieutenant or Petty Officer, 3rd Class, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 34795019 FULMER RALPH W Sergeant GRADE CODE 5 Captain or Asst. superintendent of nurses or Asst. director of nurses or Chief dietitian or Chief physical therapy aides or Sergeant or Technician 4th Grade or Lieutenant or Petty Officer, 3rd Class SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 01 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 1, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date.

    Death: ????? Ralph W. Fulmer BIRTH: 29 Feb 1924 DEATH: 21 Jun 1999 - Lake Panasoffkee, Sumter, Florida, United States of America CIVIL: Florida

    More:

  25. William E Hannah

    Pretty common name.

    Birth:

    Enlistment:

    Dog Tags: #35295652

    Division: 179th

    Capture: Nov 28, 1944

    Camp: William E Hannah, #35295652 #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: Name: William E Hannah, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 1 Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 35295652 HANNAH WILLIAM E GRADE, ALPHA Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 01 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 1, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date.

    Death:

    More:

  26. Raymond A Jacks (1924-1997)

    Birth: 1924, Alabama, lived Tennessee

    Enlistment: Raymond A Jacks Birth Year: 1924 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Alabama State of Residence: Tennessee County or City: Franklin Enlistment Date: 15 Dec 1943 Enlistment State: Georgia Enlistment City: Fort Oglethorpe Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: Grammar school Civil Occupation: Farm hands, general farms Marital Status: Single, with dependents Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 34920912

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Raymond Jacks #34920912, Private, no camp listed

    WWII POW: Raymond A Jacks, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 18 Jul 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    34920912 JACKS RAYMOND A GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY ( 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 18 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 07 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: July 18, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, same camp

    Death: Raymond A. Jacks SSN: 412-26-7428 Last Residence: 31799, Thomasville, Thomas, Georgia, United States of America Born: 15 Sep 1924 Died: 12 Sep 1997 State (Year) SSN issued: Tennessee (Before 1951)

    More: Raymond A Jacks, Service Info.: PFC US ARMY WORLD WAR II, Birth Date: 15 Sep 1924, Death Date: 12 Sep 1997, Cemetery: Ochlocknee City Cemetery, Cemetery Address: Ochlocknee, GA 31773

  27. William D Keener (1924-2005)

    Birth: 1924, North Carolina

    Enlistment: William D Keener Birth Year: 1924 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: North Carolina State of Residence: North Carolina County or City: Lincoln Enlistment Date: 23 Feb 1944 Enlistment State: North Carolina Enlistment City: Fort Bragg Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 4 years of high school Civil Occupation: Tinsmiths, coppersmiths, and sheet metal workers Marital Status: Married Height: 11 Weight: 011

    Dog Tags: 34961040

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: William D Keener, Private, #34961040, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: William D Keener Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 1 Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated

    Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official. NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 34961040 KEENER WILLIAM D GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 01 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08
    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    Last Report Date: June 1, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date.

    Death: William D. Keener BIRTH: 14 Jan 1924 DEATH: 29 Nov 2005 - Lincolnton, Lincoln, North Carolina CIVIL: North Carolina

    More: William Keener, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 14 Jan 1924, Death Date: 29 Nov 2005, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 23 Feb 1944, Release Date 1: 3 Dec 1945

  28. Harry E. J. Kingston (1922-1991)

    Birth:

    Enlistment: Harry E J Kingston, Birth Year: 1920, Race: White, citizen (White), Nativity State or Country: Pennsylvania, State of Residence: Pennsylvania, County or City: Philadelphia, Enlistment Date: 19 Nov 1942, Enlistment State: Pennsylvania, Enlistment City: Philadelphia, Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA, Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA, Grade: Private, Grade Code: Private, Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law, Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men), Source: Civil Life, Education: Grammar school, Civil Occupation: Semiskilled routemen, Marital Status: Single, with dependents, Height: 67, Weight: 147

    Dog Tags: 33469422

    Division:

    Capture:

    Camp: Not listed by NARA.

    WWII POW: Harry E J Kingston, Report Date: 21 Dec 1944, Latest Report Date: 12 Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: Germany, Detaining Country: Germany, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    33469422 KINGSTON HARRY E J GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 21 MONTH 12 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0423 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 72 European Theatre: Germany LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY 12 MONTH 06 YEAR 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP (not listed)

    Return Stateside:

    Last Report Date:

    Association with John Blanck: Same camp

    Death: ?? Harry Kingston, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 20 Apr 1920, Death Date: 27 Mar 1991, Cause of Death: Natural, SSN: 198014593, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 3 Dec 1942, Release Date 1: 5 Dec 1945

    More: In a letter included in Shadows of Slaughterhouse Five, Harry Kingston said he was born 20 April 1920 in Philadelphia and that his occupation prior to the war was that of chief clerk for J. W. Porter, grocery store.

    Death: Harry Kingston BIRTH: 20 Apr 1920 DEATH: 27 Mar 1991 CIVIL: Pennsylvania

    Harry Kingston, Birth Date: 20 Apr 1920, Death Date: 27 Mar 1991, Cause of Death: Natural, SSN: 198014593, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 3 Dec 1942, Release Date 1: 5 Dec 1945

  29. Bert E Leonheart (1924-1983)

    Birth: 1924, Pennsylvania

    Enlistment: Bert E Leonheart Birth Year: 1924 Race: White, citizen (White) Enlistment Date: 5 Apr 1943 Enlistment State: Pennsylvania Enlistment City: Erie Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 4 years of high school Civil Occupation: Unskilled occupations in production of rayon and allied products Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 42 Weight: 115

    Dog Tags: #33436448

    Division: 179th

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Bert E Leonheart, Corporal, #33436448, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: Bert E Leonheart, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 30 Jun 1945, Grade: Corporal, Grade Notes: First Lieutenant or Chief nurse or Head dietitian or Head physical therapy aide or Corporal or Technician 5th Grade or Lt. Jr. Grade or First Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated

    Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    SERIAL NUMBER 33436448 LEONHEART BERT E GRADE, ALPHA CPL Corporal GRADE CODE 6 First Lieutenant or Chief nurse or Head dietitian or Head physical therapy aide or Corporal or Technician 5th Grade or Lt. Jr. Grade or First Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 30 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside: Not listed on Ancestry.com under this spelling as of February 2010

    He was however listed on the Admiral Benson, page 10, 1945, June 12 New York City, 3A (Lib) 78755 Leonheart, Bert E Cpl #33436448 179th Inf 22 April 1945 Iden $50.44 2500 Fr. Rd Seagertown, Penna

    Last Report Date: June 30, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, returned stateside same ship.

    Death: Bert Leonheart BIRTH: 11 Nov 1924 DEATH: Dec 1983 CIVIL: Pennsylvania OTHER: Huntington Beach, Orange, California, United States of America

    More: Bert Leonheart, Birth Date: 11 Nov 1924, Death Date: 19 Dec 1983, SSN: 202140551, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 12 Apr 1943, Release Date 1: 18 Dec 1945

  30. Howard M Linthicum (1911-1969)

    Birth: March 26, 1911, North Carolina

    Enlistment: LINTHICUM HOWARD M, PFC, born 1911, North Carolina, Randolph, Enlistment date, 15 January 1944, South Carolina, Camp Croft, private, skilled in manufacture of knit goods, married

    Dog Tags: 34898865

    Division: 179th

    Capture: Nov 28, 1944

    Camp: Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    WWII POW: Howard M Linthicum, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 12 Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 00,6 Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW:

    SERIAL NUMBER 34898865 LINTHICUM HOWARD M Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 12 12 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 5 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: 4 B (Lib) #311274, Linthicum, Howard M. pfc #34898865 179 INf, 17 May '45 $75.00 -- 3717 Fr, P. O. Box 323 Randlemann, NC, arrival 12 June 1945 New York on the Admiral Benson, Movement Orders of Liberated Prisoners of War

    Association with John Blanck: Same Division, same capture date, same camp, returned stateside same ship

    Death: Howard Monroe Linthicum, age 58, August 12, 1969, Randleman, North Carolina, Carcinoma of Esopjagus.

    Birth: Mar. 11, 1911, Randolph County, North Carolina, USA, Death: Aug. 12, 1969, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina, USA

    Burial: Caraway Baptist Church Cemetery, Sophia, Randolph County, North Carolina, USA, Find a Grave More:

  31. Joseph G Manzari (1923-2004)

    Birth: 1923, New York

    Enlistment: Joseph G Manzari Birth Year: 1923 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: New York State of Residence: New York County or City: Suffolk Enlistment Date: 8 Feb 1943 Enlistment State: New York Enlistment City: New York City Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 2 years of high school Civil Occupation: Apprentices to other trades Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 68 Weight: 133

    Dog Tags: 32796919

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    POW Listed in Long Island City Journal Star in 1945: ARMY PRISONERS Interned in Germany - Joseph G. Manzari, pvt. son of Mrs. Margaret Manzari 350 South Deleware ave, Lindenhurst.

    Camp: Joseph G Manzari, #32796919, private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: Joseph G Manzari, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    32796919 MANZARI JOSEPH G GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 04 04 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 5 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside: 12 June 1945 Admiral Benson (lib) #311045 Manzari, Joseph G Pvt #3-796919 179th Infantry, 8 May 45 Iden $50.44 Fr 1,500 350 Delaware Ave Lindenhurst NY

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date

    Death: Joseph G Sr Manzari Service Info.: PFC US ARMY WORLD WAR II Birth Date: 15 Nov 1923 Death Date: 11 Sep 2003 Service Start Date: 15 Feb 1943 Interment Date: 5 Jan 2004 Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery Cemetery Address: 2040 Wellwood Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735-1211 Buried At: Section 2x Site 680

    Joseph Manzari BIRTH: 15 Nov 1923 DEATH: 11 Sep 2003 - Farmingville, Suffolk, New York, United States of America CIVIL: New York OTHER: Farmingville, Suffolk, New York, United States of America

    More: Gertrude Manzari, Service Info.: PVT US ARMY, Birth Date: 23 Nov 1912, Death Date: 18 Feb 1981, Relation: Wife Of Manzari, Joseph, Interment Date: 20 Feb 1981, Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery, Cemetery Address: 2040 Wellwood Avenue Farmingdale, NY 11735-1211, Buried At: Section R Site 4441

  32. Roy A Reed

    Very common name.

    Birth:

    Enlistment:

    Dog Tags: 42080815

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: REED ROY A, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Roy A Reed, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    42080815 REED ROY A GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 06 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 5 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed with that Dog Tag #.

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same date of capture, same camp

    Death:

    More:

  33. Sam Sharaba (1925-1995)

    Birth: 1925, Ohio

    Enlistment: Sam Sharaba born 1925, Ohio, enlistment date 4 Aug 1943, Fort Hayes, Columbus, private, 3 years High School, single, actor

    Dog Tags: 35765336

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Sam Sharaba, Corporal #35765336, sent to Camp #004, Stalag 3B Furstenberg Brandenburg, Prussia

    WWII POW: Sam Sharaba, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 12 Jun 1945, Grade: Corporal, Grade Notes: First Lieutenant or Chief nurse or Head dietitian or Head physical therapy aide or Corporal or Technician 5th Grade or Lt. Jr. Grade or First Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 004, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    35765336 SHARABA SAM GRADE, ALPHA CPL Corporal GRADE CODE 6 First Lieutenant or Chief nurse or Head dietitian or Head physical therapy aide or Corporal or Technician 5th Grade or Lt. Jr. Grade or First Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY (DD) 28 MONTH 11 YEAR ( 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 12 12 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 5 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 004 Stalag 3B Furstenberg Brandenburg, Prussia (Also KDOS [USA] #1-5; ARB BTNS 225-255) 52-14

    Return Stateside: Sam Sharaba Cpl #3576336 cannot read (lib) #0788-4, 179th Infantry, 3 May 45 Iden $20.17 1000 FR 1835 Penrose Ave, E Cleveland, Ohio, Jun 30, 1945, Monticello, Port of New York

    Association with John Blanck: Same division, same capture date, same camp

    Death: Death SSDI 28 Feb 1925, died 30 June 1995, Olmstead Falls, Cuyahoga, Ohio olso Ohio deaths Ancestry.com

    More: Sam Sharaba, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 28 Feb 1925, Death Date: 30 Jun 1995, SSN: 269203060, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 4 Aug 1943, Release Date 1: 4 Sep 1945

  34. John Stepovich (1922-2010)

    Birth: Aliquippa, Pa

    Enlistment:

    ???? John Stepovich Birth Year: 1922 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Ohio State of Residence: Ohio Enlistment Date: 28 Dec 1943 Enlistment State: Pennsylvania Enlistment City: Pittsburgh Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life Education: 1 year of high school Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 00 Weight: 000

    Dog Tags: 33715035

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: John Stepovich, #33715035, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: John Stepovich, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: Jun 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    33715035 STEPOVICH JOHN GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 09 09 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 5 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside:Not under that spelling on Ancestry.com

    Association with John Blanck: In same division, captured same day

    Death: John Stepovich, Gender: Male, Birth Date: 21 Apr 1922, Death Date: 28 Jul 2010, Branch 1: ARMY, Enlistment Date 1: 18 Jan 1944, Release Date 1: 23 Nov 1945

    More:

    Image of John Stepovich

  35. Robert Irving Sulzer (1916-2008)

    Birth: May 14, 1916 Cook Co., Illinois

    Enlistment: Not under that spelling on Ancestry.com

    Dog Tags: 36784172

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: SULZER ROBERT I, PVT, camp #006, Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13.

    WWII POW: Robert I Sulzer, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 14 Jul 1945, Grade: Private, Grade Notes: Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    36784172 SULZER ROBERT I GRADE, ALPHA PVT Private GRADE CODE 8 Cadet, USMA or Chief Warrant Officer or Private or Apprentice, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 14 14 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 7 7 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 5 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Admiral Benson June 12, 1945 4B (lib) 31---8 Sulzer, Robert I Pvt 36784172, 179 Inf 14 May 45 Iden $50. 44 - 2500 Fr 11732 Normal Ave, Chicago, Ill

    National Jewish Welfare Board: Prisoner, Sulzer, Robert I Pvt., next of kin, Mrs, Elsie Modrow Sulzer, mother, 11732 Normal Ave. Chicago, Army.

    Association with John Blanck:

    Death: Robert Irving Sulzer, Last Residence: 85351 Sun City, Maricopa, Arizona, USA, BORN: 14 May 1916, Died: 1 Nov 2008, State (Year) SSN issued: Illinois (Before 1951)

    More: Sulzer, Robert I. 92 of Sun City, passed away on November 1, 2008. He was born in Chicago, IL. Robert is an Ex-P.O.W. He honorably served his country in the United States Army during WWII. Robert was captured and was held in a German Prison Camp until the war ended in 1945. After the war he returned home and was a Firefighter with Chicago F.D. for 25yrs. Robert and his wife moved to Sun City, AZ in 1971. He was a member of VFW Post 6308, Sun City and P.O.W. Agua Fria. Robert is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Evelyn and daughter, Susan. Private interment will be held at the National M emorial Cemetery of Arizona. Arrangements entrusted to Sunland Mortuary. Published in The Arizona Republic on 11/4/2008

  36. Carl W Taylor

    Very common name.

    Birth:

    Enlistment:

    Dog Tags: 34591995

    Division: 179

    Capture: November 28, 1944

    Camp: Carl W Taylor #34591995 Private, #063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08, the camp at which John was first processed.

    WWII POW: Carl W Taylor, Report Date: 28 Nov 1944, Latest Report Date: 14 Jun 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: France, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 063, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    34591995 TAYLOR CARL W GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY ( 28 MONTH 11 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0179 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 76 European Theatre: France LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY (DD) 14 14 LATEST REPORT DATE: MONTH (MM) 06 06 LATEST REPORT DATE: YEAR (Y) 5 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 063 Stalag 12A to 9B Limburg An Der Lahn Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-08

    Return Stateside:

    Association with John Blanck:

    Death:

    More:

  37. Kurt Vonnegut Jr (1922-2007)

    Birth: November 11, 1922, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Enlistment: Not listed on Ancestry perhaps because he enlisted in the reserves. In the Army reserves in November 1942 per internet.

    Dog Tags: 12102964

    Division: 423rd Infantry Regiment of the 106th Division. He went overseas in November 1944. See Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in WW II

    Capture: December 21, 1944

    Camp: 4 B Muhlberg

    WWII POW: Kurt Jr Vonnegut, Report Date: 21 Dec 1944, Latest Report Date: 13 Jul 1945, Grade: Private First Class, Grade Notes: Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman, Service Branch: Army, Arm or Service: Infantry, Arm or Service Code: Infantry, Organization Type: Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department, Parent Unit Type: Group/Regiment/Commands/System, Area Served: European Theatre: Germany, Detaining Country: Germany, Camp: 006, Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated, Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.

    NARA POW Record:

    12102964 VONNEGUT KURT JR GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY 21 MONTH 12 YEAR 1944 TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0423 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 72 European Theatre: Germany LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY 13 MONTH 07 YEAR 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 8 Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 006 Stalag 4B Muhlberg Sachsen 51-13

    Return Stateside: Not listed Ancestry.com February 2010

    Latest Report Date: July 13, 1945

    Association with John Blanck: Same camp

    Death: April 11, 2007

    Kurt Vonnegut, Birth Date: 11 Nov 1922, Death Date: 11 Apr 2007, Branch 1: A, Enlistment Date 1: 6 Apr 1943, Release Date 1: 4 Dec 1945.

    More: In a letter to his father in May 1944 Kurt Vonnegut describes his capture, the transportation from Limberg to Stalag 4 B in Muhlberg and the liberation by the Russians.

    Wednesday, 18 November 2009 Slaughterhouse Five

    Michigan Quarterly Review


Sources For The Study of the POWs on This Page


Related Web Sites

Stalag IV-B Wikipedia

The Wartime Memories Project - Stalag IVB POW Camp

The Wartime Memories Project - Stalag IVA POW Camp

Stalag IVB, Images

Stalag IVA

Stalag IVB

Stalag IVC

The Service Diary of World War II German War Prisoner #315136 Sgt. John P. Kline, M Company (1944-1945) 423rd Combat Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division, Army of the United States Squad leader, First Platoon, Second Squad, Heavy Machine Gun....

ANNA RESIDENT REMEMBERS GERMAN POW CAMP — Ed Fridley was in Stalag IV B and in Stalag IVA, Hohnstein.


The Photos Received by John while in Prison

The following three photos were received by John while he was a POW. They are of his sons, Denis and Tom, and his wife, Alice. The tiny infant is Tom who was born June 9, 1944.

These photos are stamped on the back in purple ink "Kgt.M.Stammlager IV A Kompaniebereith 5./393 Bittau" In Alice's handwriting in pencil is written" John Blanck 311261"


Jovicic Petar

In January 2009 Milan Jovicic emailed the following picture which is stamped on the back

???M.Stammlager IV A
Kompaniebereich 5./393 Bittau
Milan wrtoe:
My grandfather Jovicic Petar was a war prisoner 4 years long. His was from former Yugoslavia and his face is marked on the separate photo named "My Grandfather".

Sincerely yours,

Milan Jovicic


Stalag IV-B Today

The town of Muhlberg is on the east bank of the Elbe River about 45 kms east of Lepzig.

In addition to the "remains" of the camp there is a "museum' which doubles as a tourist information office on Klosterstrassse. The museum contains a display board with plans of the camp and some photos.

The site of the camp is about 8 kms northeast of Muhlberg. There are signs from "Kriegsgefangenerlager" (POW camp).

"A" shows the location of Stalag IV B. "B" is the location of the Stadtmuseum of Muhlberg. "C" is the Initiativgruppe Lager Muhlberg. Apparently B and C contain some memorials to the POWs.

During WWII the camp held POWs from 33 different nations. It held about 30,000 POWs when the Russians liberated it at the end of the war.

Between 1939 (when the camp was founded) until May 1945 approximately 3,000 deaths occurred, mostly from TB and Typhoid fever.

Between 1945 and 1949 the camp became a "special" camp of the Soviet secret police.

See Muhlberg/Elbe for information (in German) and for several images.


Stalag IVA, Hohnstein

Work Camp 1170. — 93 men are working here in a iron ore mine. Accommodation is satisfactory, working hours are reasonable, no work on Saturday afternoons or Sunday. Motor Transport is to be arranged to convey prisoners of war to and from work.

Work Camp 1162. — 35 prisoners of war engaged on all sorts of surface work. The detachment is to move to larger and better quarters.
The Camp Leaders of five camps in the Dresden/Freital area met the camp inspectors at Work Camp Schillerschule where 80 men live in one large gymnasium. There were no serious complaints from any of these camps, the smaller complaints were settled on the spot. At another meeting at the Sachsische Blecwarenfabrik - Radebaul a further five camp leaders were interviewed and again there were no serious complaints. The clothing and hoe position throughout has greatly improved. (Visited June)

Work Camp 1185. — Here six other British Camp Leaders were interviewed. On the whole living quarters are satisfactory, though Camp 112 and 8555 are very cramped. New quarters are planned. Sanitary quarters are planned.
Sanitary installations are mostly primitive but adequate. No vermin were reported. Beds are of metal and each man has three blankets.
In most industrial labour camps food is cooked by women in the kitchen belonging to the employers. Fuel for private cooking is lacking in quality.
Prisoners should have no difficulty in consulting a civilian doctor in their area. One of two medical orderlies are attached to each camp but medical supplies are poor. Serious cases are sent to Lazerets at Scmorkau-Konigswartha.
Work is usually ground leveling, laying railroad lines or work in post offices. An average day's work is 8 to 10 hours except in cases where some time is taken to and from work. Normally two Sundays a month are free. At Camp 1169 prisoners have been asked to work longer hours than civilians, and at 1180 they have to work during ari raids. These points were immediately taken up with the German authorities.
One chaplain looks after 60 work camps. Prisoners can only play football occasionally because of lack of space (Visited June)

WWII Memories REPORTS FORM THE CAMPS: October 1944, Featuring: Photograph Stalag IVC football team at Wistritz (between Dresden and Prague) Photograph of the band at Stalag IVA Official camp reports on Stalag IVA (Hohnstein), Reserve Lazaret Konigs-Wartha and Stalag IVC (Wistritz)

The American POWs at Stalag IV Hohnstein in December 1944 totaled 300. By February it had reached 2,217. It was composed of several work detachments including one that worked in Dresden.

45th Infantry Division, "Thunderbird"

Knowing nothing about the military it took me a while to figure certain things out. (And I still may not have it correct!!) The 45th Infantry Division was comprised of the following units from 1944 to 1945.

  • 157th Infantry Regiment
  • 179th Infantry Regiment
  • 180th Infantry Regiment
  • 45th Infantry Division Artillery
  • 158th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm)
  • 160th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm)
  • 171st Field Artillery Battalion (105mm)
  • 189th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm)
  • 45th Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized)
  • 120th Engineer Combat Battalion
  • 120th Medical Battalion
  • 45th Infantry Division Military Police Platoon
  • 45th Infantry Division Special Troops
  • 45th Quartermaster Company
  • 45th Signal Company
  • 700th Ordnance Light Maintenance Compan
  • 45th Counter Intelligence Corps Detachment

John Joyce, British 8th Army

In October 2010 Peter Cain wrote to me about his uncle, John Joyce, of the British 8th Army:

"My Uncle John Joyce was in the British 8th Army and was captured at Tobruk. After illness in Italy and being cared for there by nuns he ended up in Stalag IVA. There was much talk in the family about John's time as a POW (John himself went on the drink and stayed there after the war, and was seldom home.) But amongst the tales that stick in my mind is that he was made to work in some kind of shoe or boot factory in or near Dresden. I have a copy of a letter he wrote from Stalag IVA in June 1944. His fatigue company (Arbeitskommando) is number 850."
Here is a transcription of John Joyce's letter to his brother Tom:
"Dear Thomas

I've been looking forward to writing
you these few lines for a while now but I
always seemed to forget about it. I hope you'll
excuse me. Well Tom I trust this finds you in
the very best of health as it leaves me in
the pink. I believe I've had two letters from you
now. I've been in the bag and I was more
than please (sic) to read them. I must say you
seem to be going on alright, you must be quite
fit with your (tape or censor - cannot read. - there is also a crease in the page - cannot read several words)
must be going great guns at school being a prefect. You [word, word] may had more
brains that your other half, it takes me all my
time to write a letter. I am told you are getting
more like me every day, well don't follow in
my footsteps as it won't get you anything
but trouble, that's all I ever got. But rolling
around always suited me. I may have been
different if I steadyed (sic) up, if I wished I could have
been back there all the time but I make a point
of having no regrets and I am afraid I shall never
settle down now but you mustent (sic) get and [any ?] of them
ideas. Cheerio, From your brother John

17.6.44

To Mr Thomas Joyce Howdon, Tyneside
Northumberland from Gnr. J Joyce"


Joseph Land (1925-1945)

Joseph Land was my father's cousin. He was the only son of Joseph Land and Mary Elizabeth Lorah.

Birth: 1925

Enlistment Record: Military Service: Joseph A Land Jr Birth Year: 1925, Race: White, citizen Nativity State or Country: New York, State: New York County or City: Suffolk, Enlistment Date: 18 Jun 1943 Enlistment State: New York Enlistment City: New York City Branch: No branch assignment Branch Code: No branch assignment Grade: Private Grade Code: Private Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life, Education: 1 year of college Civil Occupation: Student Codes 0x, 2x, 4x and 6x as pertain to students will be converted, for machine records purposes, to the code number 992. Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 48 Weight: 456

NARA POW REcord: SERIAL NUMBER 32971677 LAND JOSEPH A JR GRADE, ALPHA PFC Private First Class GRADE CODE 7 Second Lieutenant or Nurse or Dietitian or Physical therapy aide or Private First Class or Ensign or Second Class, Seaman SERVICE CODE 1 ARMY Infantry ARM OR SERVICE CODE 10 INF: INFANTRY DATE REPORT: DAY ( 20 MONTH 12 YEAR 1944 RACIAL GROUP CODE 1 WHITE STATE OF RESIDENCE TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 740 Branch Immaterial/Infantry Division Band/Dental Corps/Medical Department PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0110 PARENT UNIT TYPE 06 Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA 72 European Theatre: Germany LATEST REPORT DATE: DAY 11 MONTH 07 YEAR 1945 SOURCE OF REPORT 1 Individual has been reported through sources considered official. STATUS 5 Died as Prisoner of War DETAINING POWER 1 GERMANY CAMP 089 Stalag 9B Bad Orb Hessen-Nassau, Prussia 50-09

POW: Joseph A Land captured at the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944-January 1945) was originally taken to Stalag IX-B near Frankfurt. Joe Land was among 350 American GIs transferred to Berga Work Camp in February 1945 where they were treated as slave labor. Berga had one of the highest death rates of any Prisoner of War camp in Europe.

Death: Joseph Land was one of the 73 prisoners who died as a result of overwork and starvation. Just as the war was ending the Germans marched the Berga prisoners south. On the way many prisoners died. They arrived in Zedtwitz about 50 miles south of Berga on April 8, 1945. Sometime in the following five days Joe Land was one of 11 GI who died. The war ended May 8, 1945.

Information from Soldiers and Slaves by Roger Cohen, 2005

Burial: Joseph A Land Jr PFC service #32971677 was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia.

More: It was considered an irony in the Land family that Joseph died of starvation at the time his family ran a restaurant in Smithtown, Long Island.


Willard Lester Brown

Willard Lester Brown was a good friend of John's. Dennis and Tom Blanck think that John and Willard were tennis buddies. A sketch in the 1933 Emerson High School yearbook labeled W Brown shows a young man playing tennis.

The Emerson High School Year Book 1934.

Alice Azarian, who married John Blanck in 1942, was a classmate of Willard Brown. Alice and Willard graduated from Emerson High School in Union City, New Jersey in 1933.

Entries on Willard Brown form the Emerson High Year Book:

The "Senior Directory" Willard Brown, TITLE Wotta Boy HOBBY Crooning ECHO Youzza

REWARD IF YOU SEE : Willard Brown stop looking in dirty corners

SENIOR LETTERMAN: Willard Brown Varsity Tennis 1932, Winner of Emerson Tennis Tournament 1931

Willard, born in 1915, was the third child of Louis and Jennie Brown. His older siblings were: Harold born circa 1908 and Viola born circa 1909.

Willard (or Will, as he called himself in a letter to John) enlisted in the Air Corp in April 1941. The family story goes that John tried to enlist with him but was rejected because John was colorblind. Apparently colorblindness was a reason for rejection from the Air Corp but not the Infantry.

Willard wrote to John from Geiger Field in Washington state in January 10, 1942, a little over a month after the bombing of Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). At the time he was flying the "Flying Fortress" and transports. He specifically mentioned the Douglas Airliner Transport, DC-39 "to the army".

The "Flying Fortress" or Boeing B-17, with a crew of ten, was a four engine bomber. It was mainly used in Europe but was employed in raids against Japanese shipping and airfields. See Boeing B-17

The DC-39 was a military version of the DC-2 — crew of three, pilot, co-pilot and radio operator. See Douglas C-39

Willard's return address was:

Lt. E. L Brown
62nd Squadron
39th Bomb. Group
Geiger Field
Wash

During World War II the 39 BG (Bombardment Group) trained large numbers of airmen to fly the Flying Fortress and other planes. It may be that Willard was transfered to some other division when he was finished his training. The 39th was not deployed overseas until January 1945.

Willard lost his life in action in the Pacific on December 28, 1942. His name is recorded on the Honolulu Memorial, which was erected in 1964 to honor those who served in the Pacific during WWII and the Korean War and who were missing in action, or lost or buried at sea. There were 18,096 Americans missing in the Pacific in World War II. See HONOLULU MEMORIAL

He was honored at the War Memorial Building in Trenton and at Fort Dix New Jersey Air Base (date uncertain*) with a ceremony when the "new Wrightstown Post of the Regular Veterans Association" was named after him.

* Two newspaper clippings with no date.

1930 Census: 15th Street, Union City New Jersey, Louis age 45, born New York, Jennie age 45, born New York, Harold age 22, born New York, Viola age 21, born New York, "Williard", age 14 born Illinois

World War II Army Enlistment: Willard L Brown Birth Year: 1915 Race: White, citizen (White) Nativity State or Country: Illinois State of Residence: New Jersey County or City: Hudson, Enlistment Date: 28 Apr 1941 Enlistment State: New Jersey Enlistment City: Newark Branch: Air Corps Branch Code: Air Corps Grade Code: Aviation Cadet Component: Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men) Source: Civil Life, Education: 2 years of college, Civil Occupation: Managers and officials, n.e.c., Marital Status: Single, without dependents Height: 74 Weight: 159

World War II Casualties: Willard L. Brown State Registered: Hawaii, Death Date: 28 Dec 1942, Cemetery: Tablets of The Missing At Honolulu Memorial, Cemetery Burial Plot: Missing in Action or Buried at Sea, Cemetery City: Honolulu, Cemetery Country: Hawaii,WAR: World War II Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart, Title: First Lieutenant, Rank: First Lieutenant, Service: U.S. Army Air Forces, Service ID: 0-430566, Division: 370th Bomber Squadron, 307th Bomber Group, Heavy Data Source: World War II Honor Roll

Note: Geiger Field is now Spokane International Airport.

Emerson High School Year Book 1933
Willard Lester Brown, from newspaper clipping circa 1943.

An Italian Prisoner of War in America

In 1974 my husband and I spent a year in Padua, (Padova) Italy. A fruit and vegetable vender at the main market in Piazza delle Erbe liked to practice his English when I stopped at his stall. He spoke English well but had a tendency to use swear words and phrases. I assumed he had learned English at some military base. One day we had a long chat and he told me he had been captured by the Americans in World War II. He was sent to the States and spent the war outside of Tucson, Arizona. He was there two years or more and received good treatment with generous amounts of recreation, food and cigarettes. His only problems were homesickness and worrying about how his family was coping back in Italy.


German Prisoners of War in America

About 250,000 German prisoners of war were sent to the states to serve their time and wait until the end of the war. There were 2,000 at Camp Breckinridge, Ky. The POWs spent their time farming, lumbering, unloading freight cars and working in shops and the laundry. They were paid 90 cents a day which they could used to buy cigarettes, soft drinks and get their hair cut. They lived in barracks similar to those to the US enlisted man. They formed singing groups, watched movies, played games like soccer and tennis, planted gardens. Mess food was ample and consisted of US Army rations. The majority of these prisoners were captured in 1943 in North Africa. (Life Magazine, November 13, 1944.)


Movie Portrayals of GI Life

A Walk in the Sun 1945 - G I experiences during the Italian campaign.

Battleground 1949 - winter during the Battle of the Bulge.


To see copies of the actual documents relating to John's military service, clink on the the copy of the Missing in Action telegram.

For a transcription of the diary John kept between May 7 and June 1, 1945 click on the image of the prisoner of war.

Maps relating to John's war experiences

G.I.: the American soldier in World War II, by Lee B. Kennett, is a well told story of the the American soldier in World War II. It is available from Amazon as well as other book sellers.

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

World War II, Interview of Thor Ronningen

The Cigarette Camps, Army Camps at Le Harve

U.S. (and French) abuse of German PoWs, 1945-1948
"Towards the end of the war in Europe, as large numbers of Axis soldiers surrendered, the U.S. created the designation of Disarmed Enemy Forces (DEF) so as not to treat prisoners as POWs. A lot of these soldiers were kept in open fields in various Rheinwiesenlagers. Controversy has arisen about how Eisenhower managed these prisoners[47] Many died when forced to clear minefields in Norway, France etc. How many died during the several post-war years that they were used as forced labor in France, the Soviet Union, etc, is disputed. The "London Cage", a MI19 prisoner of war facility in the UK during and immediately after WWII, was subject to frequent allegations of torture.

wikipedia


America's World War II Prison Camps, Lew Rockwell.com

American Ex-Prisoners of War

NARA PICTURES FROM WORLD WAR II American Ex-Prisoners of War

Stand Where They Fought The Vosges Then and Now - Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial

Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial contains the graves of 5,255 US military dead. It is one of 14 permanent World War II US Military cemeteries outside the US.


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If you wish to use any of the images or information on this page please feel free to do so provided that you give proper acknowledgement to this web site and include the same acknowledgments that I have made to the provenience of the image or information. Thanks, Maggie

© Maggie Land Blanck - Page created 2004 - Latest update, January 2015