392nd Bomb Group

POW Stories of 392nd BG Airman

Help support our efforts to honor those who suffered as a POW.

Help support our efforts to honor those who suffered as a POW.

The following stories were complied by Greg Hatton of www.b24.net. There are several more stories by the 392nd Bomb Group veterans under the Wendling base section found on the main page or by Clicking Here.

392nd BG POW Combat Diary Reviews  - The March 2014 issue of the 392nd BGMA, featured book reviews of six airmen from the group, who wrote about their experience as prisoners of war: Richard Hoffman, Jack Adams, Robert Davis, H. Everett Thomas, Odell Dobson and Coleman Jacobson.

Ferrari and Roberts after their bomber crashed By Victor Ferrari, Navigator, 578th Squadron  - After bailing out, Eddie Roberts had broken his shoulder on landing, causing him great pain, but after three days during which we hid for several hours in the waters of an icy pond, then a hayrack, the Dutch underground made contact. Peter Van De Hurk and his girlfriend questioned us closely to ensure that we weren't German spies who had parachuted into Holland, posing as Americans, to flush out the resistance leaders.

2nd Lt. George Graham - Co-pilot Kaminitsa crew  - I got out of my seat took one step forward and was on the ground. I helped Kamy untangle himself and then went to see about the men. German civilians had us surrounded by this time. A couple of them had rifles and so we deemed it advisable to follow their orders. Heater's leg was cut pretty badly by the top turret and something ripped my clothes and cut my leg, but the scratch wasn't bad. The civilians headed us into a small truck and under the supervision of a Luftwaffe non com, we were taken to a flak emplacement, where we stayed for about seven hours.

S/Sgt. Oliver Guillot - Waist Gunner, Kaminitsa crew 576 sq.  - Most of us dropped down close to a hundred pounds. I weighed about 110 lbs. when I got out. The only way you could get through the POW experience was to keep thinking: "The war is going to be over next week; or next month; or next year (for some of the British)" You lived from month to month. If you knew ahead of time, that it would be such a drawn out thing, with such lousy treatment, and so little food for a year. I don't think you could have lived through it. In fact, after the invasion, we were sure the whole thing would be over any day.

The Heydekrug Run - by Greg Hatton  - This historically accurate account details the infamous evacuation of Luft 6 down to Luft 4. Sgt. Hyman Hatton was one of many 392nd NCO's shot down between January and June of 1944, who were sent to this camp. It became the subject of a War Crimes Commission investigation.

Final Thoughts from Ruth Hatton  - One evening in July, 1945, Hy called me from Halloran Hospital on Staten Island; it was the first time I had heard from him since he became a POW. He had not changed his mind about marriage and wanted to come to the west coast as soon as possible: "Let's get on with our lives."

Box cars to Barth: S/Sgt. Hyman Hatton (392nd BG)  - Camp evacuation from Luft 4 to Luft 1 January 1945 as told by S/Sgt. Fred Weiner (44BG).

Heaven to Hell - By Hugh Malcolm Hinshaw  - We crashed near a little village 20 miles from Strasburg, France called Ettingheim-Munster, Germany, and we chuted nearby. Russ and Rosko were captured instantly on the spot by German home guards (old men, boys and wounded veterans). Peterson and I teamed up and stayed loose for about four hours, but were finally run down by men and dogs. Everyone 'cept me went to a hospital. My first night I spent in jail in Strasburg. The next night I was in a Prison in Frieburg. Two days and two nights later I arrived at an in-terrogation camp outside Frankfurt. Two nights later I was in the city of Frankfurt and had my first shower and food since 2:00 A.M. on the 18th at Wendling.

Hugh Malcolm Hinshaw: Evade And Capture After Friedrichshafen  - Another verion after parachuting from our diving, out-of-control B-24 from about 2,000 feet, Lt. Clifford Peterson, our pilot, we landed safely in a clearing of patchy snow, and although Pete's chute had caught some tree branches, he was on the ground, but injured in the face, eye, arms and legs.

Delmar Johnson: Captured After Friedrichshafen  - After being loaded into a truck with Sgt. Milliken, and accompanied by several uniformed Germans, we left the village where we'd been captured and where our plane had crashed after bombing Friedrichshafen. The truck collected several more Luftwaffe men on the way who appeared to be going to town on pass and were singing various German songs.

2nd Lt. Jack Kaplan  - On February 24, 1944, 22-year-old Lt. Jacob Kaplan of Brooklyn, New York bailed out of the B-24 he was navigating over northern Germany. Shot down during the Gotha raid, Lt. Kaplan survived the fall with a badly broken ankle, which he packed with snow until his capture six days later. His unconventional 'kriegie'(short for 'kriegsgefangener' or POW) education began in the prison 'lazaret' (dispensary).

2nd Lt. William Kamemitsa - Part 1  - Pilot AC# 41-100371 One of the most colorful stories I have read of the life of a very articulate and interesting 576th Sq. pilot. This story begins with his training in the US through the Berlin raid, April 29, 1944. Lt.

2nd Lt. William Kamemitsa - Part 2  - Lt. William Kamenitsa down April 29, 1944. Kamemitsa was POW at Stalag Luft 3.

T/Sgt Roy Kennett - Part 1  - Radio Operator Ofenstein Crew - Shot down 29 April 1944

T/Sgt Roy Kennett - Part 2  - Bail out, capture, prison camp, evacuation and escape.

FO John C. Kenyon - copilot: Memoir of Hubbar crew   - So when were assigned Aircraft #4250387 on the day of our first mission, February 15, 1945, we were anxious to see what we had drawn. Since we were a replacement crew, we didn't have our own plane. Our crew was made up of Gene Hubbartt, pilot; me as co-pilot; Calvin Carter, Naigator; Loren South, engineer; Ray Laskowski, radioman; Paul Glassman, nose gunner; Paul Matusky and Dick Shad, waist gunners; and Howard Neumann, tali gunner.

John Krejci - Right waist gunner Kaminitsa crew  - After the attack, I wasn't aware of all the things going on around me. We were on the way down and ME 109's were buzzing all around us. I was really wrapped up in drawing area on them. We had dropped our wheels as an indication of surrender and Kamemitsa says: "Cease fire!"... I'm firing away and I couldn't imagine him telling me to quit with fighters all around us. I looked over at Ollie, trying to figure out what in the hell was going on with him. Ollie says "Look out here"...he points to the left waist window...jeez, there's the outer wing section gone and the rest flapping in the breeze.

S/Sgt. Vitold Krushas - Engineer-Top turret  - We pull up to the rail yards and six box cars are attached to this train...old 40 and 8's from WW1. One hundred and fifty of us pile into the cars; twenty five POW's and eight guards in each. The doors slam closed and you can see bullet holes through the sides of the car. There's new wood on the roof, so it doesn't take much to figure out these cars have been strafed. It took us four days to go from Frankfort to Krems, Austria...Stalag 17B.

Sgt. Maurice Lampe  - Letters and documents describing the Whitemore crew's final mission on 23 June 44

T/sgt. Robert Longo - Waist Gunner Rogers' Crew  - The fighters only made one pass. The bullets went right down the middle of the plane. The bombardier, Kane got killed; I heard him holler when the fighters first attacked us. Eddy Gienko, in the top turret, had his flak suit hanging up there and said he could hear the bullets hitting it. Two bullets hit Bob Danford, the ball turret gunner. One bullet hit me in the back, but it didn't do anything; it just went in and came out again through my leather jacket. The whole ship was ablaze, so I called them over the intercom and said, " Everything is hot back here!" The co-pilot, Dick Weir, heard me and says: Bail out!

Joe Maloy  - Bruce Maloy describes his father's adopted mission to refute Holocaust denial. As the 17B kriegies marched through Austria in the spring of 1945, they had a tragic encounter with prisoners from Mauthausen concentration camp.

S/Sgt. Arch Nelson 576th Patterson Crew  - Shot down on the Gotha raid Feb. 24, 1944. Flying "Purple Heart Corner", they were shot down. Fortunes of war took sgt. Nelson to camps in Heydekrug and Gross Tychow. In the winter of 1945, he made the Long March across Germany that ended in Bitterfeld, Camp Lucky Strike and finally home. Edited Excerpts from Turner Publishing “Stalag Luft IV”

Clifford Peterson: POW Prison After Friedrichshafen  - When about 100 of us prisoners left Dulag to go to prison camp, they took us to a station outside Frankfurt and even then, thank goodness, we had about 15 guards with us. The civilians were lined up alongside the roads throwing things at us, spitting at us, and the women indicated to us that some of their children had been killed.

2nd lt. David Purner, Navigator, Ofenstein crew  - Soon after we were hit, the plane went into a flat spin. We lost altitude pretty rapidly, but the floor of that aircraft seemed pretty solid, you know. We lost two engines on the left; the third engine was on fire apparently! It was in a flat spin to the left. I don't think there was any collision with other aircraft. I think if you got hit that hard with something that would knock the tail assembly off, you'd know it. From that initial impact when we got hit, the damage was done, boom - right there! We fell right out of formation. You know that!

Diary of Lt. David Purner - by Greg Hatton  - This diary starts with his application for cadet training in February 1942, enlistment on April 4, 1942, arrival Wendling on March 24, 1944, shot down April 29th, 1944, captured May 1, 1944 and sent to Stalag Luft III. Forced march to Nuremberg in January 1945, then to Moosburg in March 1945 followed by the POW camp liberation by Gen. George Patton on April 29, 1945. This historical account ends with some vivid reflections of the POW life.

S/Sgt. Robert H. Richards  - The RW gunner on the Beuchler crew, completed 20 missions between July 11 and Sept. 12, 1944. S/Sgt. Roberts spent the winter at Luft 4. In Feb. 1945, he took part in the forced march across Germany that ended in Halle, Germany on April 26

James M. Ross - Our Turn Next  - "OUR TURN NEXT" is the account of the service record of James M. Ross, Staff Sergeant, US Army Air Corp. It starts upon his induction on October 15, 1942 and continues through training, active duty as a waist gunner in a B-24 Bomber, being shot down, captured and held as a German Prisoner of War. It concludes with his liberation and finally his discharge. It is filled with interesting side stories and anecdotes that GI's experience. It also describes life as a POW in several German prisoner of war camps. However, abuse, inflected human suffering and death that was carried out in German prison camps is not discussed in any detail in this writing. Although he saw and experienced his share, he chose not to expound on it, due to the exposure that has been given the subject over the years. Anyone reading this will not have to be concerned about coming to the "gory" parts. There are none.

Everett F. Satterly  - The history of the engineer of James Sibley's crew of the 578th Bomb Squadron.

Memoirs of George Schutz  - Chippawa Herald March 2008

Louis M. Stephens  - A SHORT SAGA - Our crew flew 7 more missions before being shot down September the 9th 1944 on a mission to Maintz, Germany. There were two explosions that destroyed JAW-JA-BOY immediately after going over the target. Bill Riddleberger and I were blown out of the aircraft by the second explosion which was the only way we could have gotten out.

Stephens and Riddleberger: Only Two Lived To Be Prisoners  - I wasn't too expert in handling a parachute. Mine was spinning like a top on the way down, heading for a town, getting closer and closer to the ground. I remember thinking, "How do I stop this thing from oscillating?" I recalled something about shroud lines so I pulled on the shrouds and the oscillations stopped. The ground appeared to come up fast, and I hit the side of a brick building, which knocked the wind out of me.

Sgt. Frederick Wald - Shot down on 30 December, the Sibley crew was on their 3rd mission. Wald evaded capture, then was held by the Gestapo, then sent to luft 6, 4 and Nuremburg.