I was a prisoner for 10 months, 10 days, 10 hours. We walked and
worked across France and Germany, and I ended up in Czechoslovakia.
We had some hard times and some good times, depending on the German
officers. Some of us escaped and got away. Some got recaptured. At
one camp we saw Max Smelling, who was a heavy weight German fighter.
We also saw the Berlin Bitch, who was interviewing some
paratroopers. The American troops called her that because she was a
propagandist for Germany. She was also called Axis Sally. She was an
American citizen who had stayed in Germany. Axis Sally tried to
enlist everybody to get them to change their allegiance to the
Americans who were fighting for the Germans. Sergeant Hammond1 of C Company escaped one night from that camp.
We rode a truck to the next camp that was in Alencon, France. This
was just the first of about sixteen camps I stayed in. We were on a
work detail going to town when the Allies bombed it. We were there
to help clean up. If there was a dud, we dug down to the dud so the
German snipers could blow it. They'd come in and blow them after we
got the trash and stuff cleaned away from them. We'd clean up the
streets and do all kind of work such as that. We were there till
probably sometime in July. It was at this time that the Germans came
out with their new airplane that had a jet on it. We could watch dog
fights between Americans and Germans. It was really something to
watch their planes. They could cut on their jet fuel and take off
and leave our planes sitting still. They really had a nice plane. Of
course they had some real good pilots at that time. From there we
got in a boxcar to Nantes, France. We got strafed on the way. It was
a terrible time. Blood everywhere and men screaming and dying and
nowhere to hide. They were American planes that did the strafing.
They didn't know we were prisoners, I guess.
From there we went to Chartres, Charlons, and Paris. The French were
lined up on both sides of the street. I'm sure the Gerries probably
had them do it. As we marched along they threw every kind of junk
they could at us. Some of them had walking sticks. They beat boys
over the head with it and all. Of course that's what the Gerries
liked. They enjoyed that. All we could do was give them the "old
finger". That's international. It speaks for itself. Some of the
boys got pretty well beat up.
--- ENDS ---
1 - Jumpmaster Note: This was
George A. Hamman, a Private at the time. He returned to the
Company on 21 Aug 1944 after having been reported MIA since 6 June