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WWII POW Photograph group - Stalag IIIB

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Thats all of them!

 

Angelo Spinelli has given all of his original negatives and prints to the National POW Museum at Andersonville. His heroism in taking these photos right under the noses of the Germans deserved a medal in my opinion, but he never was awarded one.

 

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Kurt-

 

These are fantastic. Are there ID's on any of the photos you have? That would really be something.

 

Greg


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wow! amazing pix. Angelo Spinelli apparently had some brass ones. Thanks for posting! :thumbsup:

Terry


to all who have served!


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His heroism in taking these photos right under the noses of the Germans deserved a medal in my opinion, but he never was awarded one.Kurt

AMEN - thx for posting Kust!



The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps. (General A. A. Vandegrift, USMC, 5 May 1946)

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A fantastic look at POW life Kurt. Thanks for posting these!


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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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I wonder how he got the pictures of the guys posing without the guards being suspicious? I thing it's obvious that they were posing in almost all of them.

I tip my hat to his clever hidden photography.

 

 

I read in his book that Angelo had a baggy pair of pants and took pictures out the fly! He would look down at the camera and take the pics. He used a Voigtlander camera.

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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I was able to buy all the POW letters this fellow wrote in WWII at the SOS. They had been on Ebay a few weeks earlier and I had been outbid, but the guy selling them at the SOS was still the same guy who sold them on Ebay.

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Anybody see the fella in the M1942 jump jacket on page 1?


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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I wanted to share this story with you. I have the War-time Log Book provided to my father, Michael “Lefty” Soltis, by the Y.M.C.A. during WWII when he was a POW at Stalag IIB in Furstenberg, Germany, 1943-1945. This story is not just about the log book itself, or much of the beautifully adorned pages, filled with artwork, poems and music from the hands of Dad and his fellow POW buddies. That story continues to unfold each time I study a page or find a new bit of information on the internet.

 

This story is more about the other related item, the book, Life Behind Barbed Wire, by Angelo Spinelli. Over the past year, when I would open Dad’s log book, I noticed many of the items were credited to Frank Stebbing. Obviously, it appeared Dad knew him. After searching “Frank Stebbing” on the internet, I found he was the editor of Stalag IIIB’s newspaper. That explained Frank’s many entries in Dad’s log book. Frank was a writer. As for Angelo Spinelli, the author of the book I found, he was a field photographer in the Army and along with Dad and the other US troops, was captured by Rommel at the Kasserine Pass in North Africa, and ultimately sent to Stalag IIIB in Furstenberg, Germany.

 

Spinelli was able to bribe a guard for a camera and for two years continued his bribes and trades for film and developing for over 1000 photographs documenting life at the Stalag, hiding them from the Germans. I figured that with Dad being friends with Frank Stebbing and Angelo being a photographer, perhaps they were all friends. So I bought the book online. It has been out of print even though it was published in 2004. Each copy I got for a couple of my remaining relatives was used previously in libraries.

 

While going page by page I studied each photo to try to find a glimpse of Dad during that two year life as a POW. Then when I turned to page 88, I immediately saw Dad! There he was, the middle man in a three-man hand stand. I knew immedialtely it was Dad, however a close up of the arms revealed Dad’s tattoos. In fact, I have a photo from around 1950 showing Dad in an almost identical position with his arms and head in the same position when I rotated the photo (changing my oldest brother, baby Jimmy.) This was Dad!

 

Dad did not share a great deal of how his life was as a POW during those two years. He did tell us he was a "tumbler" and having seen his log book growing up I saw a different photo of Dad at the top of a group tumbler formation. Finding Dad in Spinelli’s book was like running into Dad at the Stalag. It took me down a road of research that I will eventually document while I continue to copy the log book pages. Dad passed away in 2004 so I never got to share this story with him.

 

So, I thought I would eventually compile some scans and share this part of Dad’s life with you with some excerpts from Dad’s log book, some photos (some are Spinelli's that Dad must have kept hidden from the guards), and artwork from “Lefty’s” own hand. There’s even a poem written by a fellow POW buddy called “Muscle man vs. Tumbler,” about a guy from Monessen PA, where Dad was from. My intent is to eventually scan each page and document to preserve and to share this extraordinary collection of real life behind barbed wire.

 

Enjoy this glimpse into my Dad’s life. I did, and continue to do so each time I uncover yet another story of both the contributors of this log book and of other POW log books, used in the same fashion as Dad’s. Only 20,000 books were distributed and most all have been lost to time. This is a treasure.

 

When I have an opportunity to share more with you I will. The artwork and log entries are priceless! For now I start with Angelo Spinelli's photo of Dad (middle guy) on page 88 of Life Behind Barbed Wire. Thanks for allowing me to share my story.

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I wanted to share this story with you. I have the War-time Log Book provided to my father, Michael “Lefty” Soltis, by the Y.M.C.A. during WWII when he was a POW at Stalag IIIB in Furstenberg, Germany, 1943-1945.

 

>>>>I had to correct that, Dad was in Stalag IIIB. I missed an "I" when I typed my post above. <<<<<

 

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thank you for posting these photographs. My father, too, was in the 34th division and captured on Valentines Day 1943 at or near Kasserine pass. Yesterday, I ordered Mr. Spinelli's book from Fordham University Press, part of more information and part in hopes of seeing my dad one of the photos (I know this possibility is rare). I have been corresponding with a gentleman from St. Lizier, France, whose father was also at Stalag IIIB from 1941-1945. I first saw photos of the camp through postings on his website. I have also discovered a couple of French blogs devoted to Stalag IIIB, and to borrow a quote from one of those blessed bloggers: "I can now see with my own eyes what my father saw."

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My father, Harold L. Reynolds, was with the Iowa National Guard, the 168th "Rainbow" Regiment, aka: The Red Bulls. Next week I will travel from my home in Norman, Oklahoma to Des Moines, Iowa to the 168th Museum in hope of turning up more information on my father. I would like to post some pictures and documents but can't figure out how to do it. Is there anyone out there who can tell me how? Also, are there other individuals who were prisoners or had fathers and grandfathers who were prisoners of Stalag IIIB? Or who had an association with the "Third Iowa" during this time? Please contact me if you are out there.

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I will also be making a trip to the National POW Museum, late spring or early summer 2014, in Andersonville, GA. If I can look anything up for obtain anything for any of you, please let me know.

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My father, Harold Reynolds, is the short guy, second from left. He was captured at or near the Kasserine Pass (Tunisia, North Africa) on Valentine's Day in 1943. I believe the other men (I do not know who they are) were captured with him. Is there anyone out there who recognizes the other men in this picture?

 

I would like contact with anyone who may have a father or grandfather who was in Stalag IIIB at this time or who may have a connection with the 168th Regiment of the Iowa National Guard

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I wanted to share this story with you. I have the War-time Log Book provided to my father, Michael “Lefty” Soltis, by the Y.M.C.A. during WWII when he was a POW at Stalag IIIB in Furstenberg, Germany, 1943-1945.

 

>>>>I had to correct that, Dad was in Stalag IIIB. I missed an "I" when I typed my post above.

 

 

 

 

I would love to see pictures of his logbook! I have a collection of these and always like to see new examples.

 

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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attachicon.gifReynolds w 3 others.jpg

My father, Harold Reynolds, is the short guy, second from left. He was captured at or near the Kasserine Pass (Tunisia, North Africa) on Valentine's Day in 1943. I believe the other men (I do not know who they are) were captured with him. Is there anyone out there who recognizes the other men in this picture?

 

I would like contact with anyone who may have a father or grandfather who was in Stalag IIIB at this time or who may have a connection with the 168th Regiment of the Iowa National Guard

 

 

 

I am glad you enjoyed the photos! I have quite a bit of material from men captured on that day at Kasserine Pass including from other men in the 168th.

 

Besides Bataan, it was one of the largest groups of Americans ever captured.

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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I was born in Tunis in 1956 when the relics still adorned the surrounding fields.

 

So I join your quest in spirit.

 

And please take the opportunity to post more pictures.

 

We are glad that you are part of the conversation.


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My father, Miles Richard Nix, was also with the 34th Division, 168th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Company I. He was captured at Faid Pass, along with all of the Company B and K with 30 caliber machine guns and Antitank Company when they were positioned on DJebel (Mountain) Ksaira in Tunisia contemplating an enemy attack from the direction of Faid. They got their final rations and water on Staurday night, just before the German attack, on February 14, 1943. The 10th and 21st Divisions of Panzers under Germon Group Commnder of the Panzer Divisions, General Heinz Zeigler, attacked at 6:30 AM during a fierce sand storm. They faced heavy fire from the Germans with little to fight back with. Finally on the 17th they were given permission to withdraw. By this time, however, they were completely surrounded. Shortly after dark, after destroying everything that could not be carried, they started their escape down the mountain and onto the flat.The ground was rough with ravines every where and they had had little food or water for several days.

 

AT 7:30, on the 17th they were discoved by the enemy and quickly surrounded. Not many men escaped that day. Most were killed or captured. Those captured were marched barefooted and thirsty through the hot sands of the dessert until the 18th when trucks came by and they were packed in and taken to Sfax where they were corralled into an open wired-in compound where they were given their first food, sawdust bread, and water that they had had in five days. They scooped out holes in the sand during the night to keep them warn during the cold night. On the 19th they were loaded into livestock cars, 40-60 men per car, and transported by train to Tunis where they were then flown or taken by boat to Capau, Italy. They stayed there for about 2 weeks where, again they had to sleep on the ground and recieved cabbage watter once per day which had the effect of causing diarehia. Then they were sent to Stalag VII A in Moosburg, Bavaria where they were processed and sent out to their permanent camps. They arrived at Stalag IIIB in April 1943. By this time the men were covered in bedbugs, lice, fleas and other vermin. They had only the clothes on their backs and shoes.

 

Daddy was sent to Work Kommando #1 in Trattendorf where they were put to work building a Turbo-electric power plant. The men worked 10 hours a day. Their daily diet consisted of ersatz coffee or tea, reportedly made from oakleaves and coal for breakfast, watery soup made from cabbage or some other vegetable for lunch and one loaf of German black sawdust bread for supper which was often moldy. When they were available the got potatoes which were often spoiled or peas that had worms in them. If they were caught throwing away any of this food their rations would be cut by 1/3. When available they also got a little horse meat. Thier loaf of bread had to be divided between 5 men. When they received Red Cross parcels, they had to be divided between up to four men. They were often not given or had been "searched" by th German guards and much of the contents gone. Once the Germans discoved that the POW's were gathering discarded potato peelins and eating them so they began urinating on the peelings to make them undesirable.

 

Daddy's surname was Nix. "Nix" in German means "NO!". When asked his name, rank and serial number, Daddy said "Nix". The guard became furious and made Daddy carry two pails of sand up and down a hill. After this happening two or three times, the guard raise his rifle to shoot him. Another POW finally made the guard understand that "Nix" was his name, to look at this dog tags, and he was saved.

 

In January 1945, dthey heard the rumble of the Russian guns coming closer to the camp. On February 15th, 1945 the POW's were told they were evacuating the camp. Little preparation was made for the enforced march on the part of the Germans,and the approximately 600 POW's suffered greatly for it. They marched for 4 days in freezing cold and snow. They finally stoped at a barn about 10 kilometers from Stalag III A at Luckenwalde. They stayed in a barn from February 19th until March 15th, nearly starving to death while there. The POW's were givenabout 47 grams of flour soup a day. They couldn't build a fire and had no means of staying warm.

 

As the Russsians advanced, the prisoners were kept moving. The Germans wanted to captured by Americans instead of the Russians if they were to be over run and captured.Finally, they were caught up with. On April 26, 1945, after almost twenty seven months of captivity, they were free.

 

They had marched for fifty-three days with little food, water, or shelter. Thy had nearly been starved and frozen. Their march later became known as "The Black March" because of the hardships and abuse suffered along the way.

 

Later, Daddy wrote to his Mother from the Repatriation Center in France. He said that the food was great and plenty of it. He hoped that his weight would be back on soon. He was getting the best of attention because "he was in Uncle Sam's hands now."

 

Sandra Nix Dean

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Holy smokes... one o my favorite uniforms was from a local man in Company A, 168th. He had to be fairly close to the action in which your dad was captured. I always felt for those early guys that got nabbed in North Africa, especially those under the rank of sergeant. Air Corps guys had it rough, but were treated a lot better than the lower-ranking ground pounders.


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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The first picture in this thread is a photo of a group of men, one of whom is my dad, Clifford Shoemaker. He is kneeling, second from the right. I believe the others are all members of his squad. They were all captured at the same time during the invasion of Salerno, Italy in September 1943.

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I am glad you found this thread! Feel free to post a photo of your dad on this forum. We would love to see it.

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
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