PFC. Howard Franklin "Dink" Mayo
US Army Infantry
from:Chetham County, TN
Private First Class Howard F Mayo was my father. He was born in Cheatham County, Tennessee on 9th July 1923 and died in 2008 at his home in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee.
He served from 20th January 1944 to 2nd December 1945 when he was liberated from Stalag 2 and returned to military control.
My father told me that he walked over France and Germany. He went missing in France and was held prisoner for approximately six months at Gustrow, Germany, from 7th November 1944 to 8th May 1945. They were housed 25 men in one room in the camp. They worked in the forest and cut two trees per day. They were served two meals a day which consisted of soup and bread. They received little else and there was no food available. Even the guards were starving. When they received their Red Cross package the German guards ate it and the prisoners did not get them.
They were shipped out the first of the year from the Stalag. When the war was over the Russians came through and murdered men and raped women. The villagers liked the prisoners and treated them well. When they learned the Russians were coming the villagers hid them to prevent the Russians from killing them.
After returning home my father was troubled with stomach problems for years from the lack of food and the way they ate in camp. He weighed 98 pounds when he was released.
Unfortunately, the family doesn't have a lot of information regarding his service because the Archives in St. Louis, Missouri no longer have records of Army military personnel for the period of 1912 through 1959. They had a fire in 1973 and many records were destroyed.
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