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YMCA wartime logs & POW diaries


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#1 Bob Hudson

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 05:31 PM

Today, for the first time, I learned about "YMCA war logs" which apparently were handed out to WWII GI's. Does anyone have one?

The person who told me about them has one that was kept by a WWII fighter pilot who was a POW in Stalag Luft III, I believe. The log is supposed to be very complete with color drawings (they used ink from fruit can labels for the colors). The person who owns it also has the pilot's medals, a uniform from when he was Col in the USAF after the war, and other items. Hopefully he will let me photograph some of the diary/log and share it here.

I did find some photos online from other such logs (they seem to have been popular at Stalag Luft III) and if anyone has more info or photos of YMCA war logs, plase share them here.

thanks...

#2 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:16 PM

I have 7 of them in my collection . They were called " A WARTIME LOG " and were published by the YMCA in Geneve. In fact my avatar is the cover from one of the books. They are super hard to find and have skyrocketed in price over the past few years. I really love them because they really reflect what the POW's were thinking and doing during their captivity. Most are filled with artwork, poems, diary entries, and ephemera .

They were used all of the camps that Americans, Canadians, and Brits were in. In fact there was a different version published for each nationality. I have each type, but mine were all owned by Americans. The ones I have are from Stalag Luft 1, Stalag Luft 4 , Stalag Luft 3, and Stalag 17B.

There is a fairly recent book published by Art Beltrone on the subject that can easily be bought online and from many used book stores.

I will try and take some pics of from mine soon and put them on here.

Kurt

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 18 April 2007 - 08:17 PM.


#3 Bob Hudson

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:35 PM

I have 7 of them in my collection . They were called " A WARTIME LOG " and were published by the YMCA in Geneve. In fact my avatar is the cover from one of the books. They are super hard to find and have skyrocketed in price over the past few years. I really love them because they really reflect what the POW's were thinking and doing during their captivity. Most are filled with artwork, poems, diary entries, and ephemera .


Kurt


I could not find any references online to a sale of an original. What do they go for? I'd imagine a WWII POW diary with color illustrations ain't cheap.

#4 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:40 PM

Here are some pictures from various logs I have. This should give you an idea of the common themes of artwork contained in them.

Here are the three covers from the different logs " US - Canadian - British " .

Please excuse the " yellow " look to most of the pics. If I use a flash it washes them out. I need natural light, but its dark outside now :( .

USlog.JPG
canadalog.JPG
britlog.JPG
USlog1.JPG

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 18 April 2007 - 08:58 PM.


#5 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:41 PM

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#6 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:43 PM

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#7 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:44 PM

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#8 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:51 PM

I could not find any references online to a sale of an original. What do they go for? I'd imagine a WWII POW diary with color illustrations ain't cheap.


They don't turn up very often so there is not much sales data on them. There is maybe 1 or 2 a year sold on Ebay. I bought 3 of the 7 I own on Ebay. I have paid anywhere from $500-$1500 each for majority of them. It all depends on content.

Not every POW received one of these. There were @ 20,000 printed and many were destroyed or thrown away during the various marches when the POW's were on the move as the Allies got closer to the POW camps. Many have water damage from being kept outside during the marches.

Kurt

#9 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:59 PM

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#10 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:09 PM

Not artwork but I thought this modification was cool!

The POW took a German issued blanket and made a zippered cover for his diary. He used a Talon Zipper from an A-2 jacket.


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#11 Bob Hudson

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:16 PM

What incredible artifacts! I can't wait to see one in person. I found some links to websites that have photos from other WARTIME LOGS (these have lots of drawings - there are also many online exceprts from logs that are pretty much text only):

http://www.fernsdunc...owlog/index.htm

http://www.merkki.co...nodominickj.htm

http://www.303rdbomb...ow-halgunn.html

#12 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:37 PM

There are some pics of one of the logs I own at this link here:

http://www.merkki.com/potterlc.htm

Kurt

#13 bobgee

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:04 AM

Great posts, Kurt. Thanks for sharing.
Bob

#14 Kurt Barickman

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:53 AM

Thanks for posting Kurt, extremely rare is an understatement. I only know of one of those in the hands of a captured B-17 guy locally and there is no way I was getting it. Nice bunch of sets!!

Kurt Barickman

#15 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 08:07 AM

Thanks Bob and Kurt . Of anything I have in my collection, these are by far my " Favorite Things " . I do know of a guy who has one of these books filled out by a 82nd AB vet. These were not exclusively issued to Air Corps guys.

If anyone else on the forum has any of these please post some pics. I know we would all love to see them.

Kurt

#16 disneydave

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 10:24 PM

My friend and ex-Luft III POW Emmet Cook has one he carried with him on the forced evacuation of the camp. He gave it to a French forced labourer at a farmhouse they stopped at with the instructions he should mail it back to Emmet. Emmet gave him his stateside address and sure enough, several months after the war ended the log showed up on his doorstep, minus some of the b/w publicity pix the Germans had taken of the POWs that were glued in the book.

Emmet sent me several color and black and white photocopies of pages. I will try and post some of them this weekend. One neat thing Emmet did was to get autographs of men in the camp. One that stands out is Wings Day. There are several Battle of Britain pilot signatures in the book too.

Emmet was an sbsolutely fantastic artist and did beautiful portraits of all his bunkmates, as well as color caricatures of all the POWs who were on his softball team. There are also several other drawings, some poetry and short stories.

Emmet's log also includes a watercolor he did of the camp's famous unofficial insignia/mascot - Donald Duck behind bars with the caption "Stalag Luft III. I Wanted Wings." Emmet was the originator of the design, which he drew on a postcard in June 1943 and sent home to tell his parents he was now a POW.

I'll post some of the images this weekend.

#17 Got da Penny

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 02:15 AM

Back in 1998 I was able to record an Interview with a US veteran who was in a Tank Battle in Bizerte if i recall right. As the interview unfolded (after about 4 hrs.) He started to bring some items out that he had "liberated". the item that stood out the most was a OD Green sleeve jacket with a zipper. (he made it out of a field jacket)

Then the vet opened it up and told me he was taken prisoner for approx 3 yrs. I was totally Amazed at all the hand sketches and journal writings.

After he was set free, he never let loose of his War Log Book. and told me that upon seperation, he was "instructed" to turn over all of his possesions. Well, this was the ONLY item that he refused to give up. He made his point to the officer, *in no uncertain terms* and was able to keep it.
I was one of the most fascinating items of ww2 i have ever seen.

#18 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:13 PM

Hi Dave

Good to see you here on the USMF! I was the person who sold you the VF-19 stationary.

I am adding some more scans I know you will enjoy!

These next few pics are all from the same POW log.

Here is the title page :

log17.JPG

#19 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:17 PM

The AAF recruit in 1942 and then again in 1944. He wanted wings!

This log belonged to a POW whose Stalag Luft 3 dogtag I featured in my thread on POW dogtags.

http://www.usmilitar...?showtopic=4274

The POW number Donald has on his tag matches Salecks real tag.

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#20 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:19 PM

In memory of Lt Salecks crewman who did not survive the mission

log20.JPG

#21 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 07:20 PM

A map he drew on the inside cover of his log. Maybe he thought he could use it if he escaped http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif . The scale is so good , I dont think it was drawn from memory.

log21.JPG

#22 disneydave

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:14 PM

Kurt...

All of the Donald Duck "I Wanted Wings" drawings that I have seen have featured the POWs German-issued POW id number. I have around 10 or 12 images of teh design sent to me by various POWs.

#23 Bob Hudson

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:40 PM

Today I finally got to see the wartime log that prompted me to start this thread. I was able to take photos and share them here as long as I did not reveal his name. He was a senior POW at Stalag Luft III and was a P-51 pilot. The log book is much thinker than I'd expected it to be: it's about the size of a standard novel.

This one not only had the entries on the pages, but newspaper articles and other bits of paper including two original typed documents used by the senior POW's in rating and promoting fellow POW's. It was totally cool to handle those - there cannot have been many such documents that survived. I have post those in another thread here.

The owner of the log is not a militaria collector, but has three boxes of material related to this decorated pilot, including medals. Amazingly he saved the wartime log from the trash: someone was going to toss it. Supposedly the whole grouping will come up for sale later this year. It will be priced way out of my league, but today I got to spend an hour going through this incredible book and it could keep you enthralled for many hours.

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#24 Bob Hudson

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:57 PM

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#25 Bob Hudson

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:58 PM

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