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Stalag XVIIBGneixendorf / Krems, Austria in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- Stalag XVIIBGneixendorf / Krems, Austria during the Second World War -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Stalag XVIIBGneixendorf / Krems, Austria

    If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

    Those known to have been held in or employed at

    Stalag XVIIBGneixendorf / Krems, Austria

    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

    The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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    Edward J Kelso 96 Group 337 Squadron

    I found my uncle Edward Kelso's photo on file as a POW at Stalag 17b about 18 months ago. Through his daughter I began the search for his discharge papers. I just got a copy of these and gave them to friend who has researched lost fliers. He found him last night with the 337th Squadron. As chance would have it he also had the 96th's Group Book.

    We learned that he went down on June 22nd on a mission to Huls, Germany. The aircraft was 42-5877. The Pilot was Harold C Russell and Radioman Robert Clark is listed as KIA.

    On behalf of my first cousin Pamela Kelso Winkler, we would like to inquire if anyone has any information about the crew and who may still be living and where the plane crashed after being shot down.

    Nick Schultz

    Edward J Kelso 96 Group 337 Squadron

    I found my uncle Edward Kelso's photo on file as a POW at Stalag 17b about 18 months ago. Through his daughter I began the search for his discharge papers. I just got a copy of these and gave them to friend who has researched lost fliers. He found him last night with the 337th Squadron. As chance would have it he also had the 96th's Group Book.

    We learned that he went down on June 22nd on a mission to Huls, Germany. The aircraft was 42-5877. The Pilot was Harold C Russell and Radioman Robert Clark is listed as KIA.

    On behalf of my first cousin Pamela Kelso Winkler, we would like to inquire if anyone has any information about the crew and who may still be living and where the plane crashed after being shot down.

    Nick Schultz

    Sgt. Pete Skripka

    Pete's story is available in the book; Stalag 17b and the Pete Skripka Story

    John P Cordasci

    James H. Lang

    I have written a book about my experiences over 2 years in Nazi POW camps, Stalag VIIA and Stalag XVIIB. The book is finally complete Kriegies and Goons with original photos.

    Dick Lang

    Tech Sgt. Reamond Smiley 545th Bomb Sqd.

    I'm looking for anyone who may have a recollection of Reamond C. Smiley, who was imprisoned in Stalag 17B from 1943-1945. His B17 was shot down over Hamburg, Germany on July 25, 1943. He was a waist turret gunner. 384th Bomb Group (H), Squardon 545th. He may have gone by the nickname, "Smiley".

    Carol Smiley-Vincenti

    Joseph Jacobs Royal Engineers

    My late father Joseph Jacobs, like many men, never talked about his wartime experiences. I visited the National Archive and looked through the Questionnaires completed by POW's when liberated by the British Military only to find that there wasn't one for him.

    What I do know are his German POW details after capture and holding by the the Italians: Full name Joseph Jacobs Service Number: T/279560 Army Service Corps then Royal Engineers. German Prison of War Number 154744. He was held prisoner in Stalag XVIIa then Stalag XVIIb - both near Vienna, modern day Austria and was repatriated to London in May 1945.

    John Jacobs

    T/Sgt Francis George Dolsen 349th Squadron

    I enlisted in the Air Corps in June 1942 and became part of the European theatre operations until 1945. I was part of the 8th Army Air Force in the 100th Bomb Group. I was part of the 349th Bomb Squadron (H). I was a radio operator gunner on a B17 aircraft. I was shot down November 5th 1943. I was a POW in Stalag 17B until November 1945 when General Patton's Third Army liberated the POWs.

    Francis Dolsen

    Frederick Elliot Ehmann

    His wartime experiences, were a highlight of his life to Frederick Ehmann. In his 90s, he learned to use a computer and wrote of being an Army gunner in a B-24 bomber shot down over northern Italy on Dec. 28, 1943.

    The plane was on a mission to bomb oil refineries in Ploiesti, Romania, when it was hit. Remaining behind in the crippled aircraft to rescue a fellow gunner, he was burned before bailing out and parachuting into a canal. "Don't shoot. I am an American," he told the elderly man on the ground who held a gun to his head.

    Turned over to the Germans, he was sent to Stalag 17B in Krems, Austria, where he and 4,500 other prisoners struggled to survive the subzero cold and thin rations of rutabaga soup and bread. There was no brutality. If anyone tells you something other than that, they're a liar. There was a shortage of food. We would be fed once a day. Sometimes it would be a lousy soup. The men's quarters were abandoned World War I buildings, unheated except for two potbellied stoves that were stoked with boards stripped from the latrine building. Despite the conditions, morale remained high. The prisoners never had a two-way radio or a working tunnel system, as depicted in Hogan's Heroes. But they did build a crystal radio for listening to the BBC. The radio antenna was hidden in the prisoners' clothesline, the other pieces throughout the barracks. The POWs stayed busy planning and carrying out exploits to upset their captors.

    Once, the prisoners were given a giant sausage. It looked good from a distance, but was full of maggots. The prisoners named it Adolf, dressed it in a uniform, and laid it out on a board. Then they marched it around camp and gave it a decent burial in the latrine. The prank brought armed guards on the run. One who spoke English wanted to know what the men were doing. After he was told, he smiled and said, "You all are crazy,"

    On April 15, 1945, after 15 months, a German captain gave an order to evacuate the next day. We were told that the Russians had captured Vienna, which was only 35 kilometers away, and that they would be taking the camp in less than two days. After nine days of forced march, the POWs arrived at their new camp in a forest at the fork of the Inn and Salzach Rivers. On the other side of the water was Germany. On the morning of our fifth day, I was sitting by the edge of the road when a military jeep came by with four American officers and a machine gun. Several of us stood up and shouted that we were Americans. The officers stopped and said, 'What the hell are you guys doing here?' They said they would be back within 24 hours with help. They left us, and we all had a feeling I will never be able to describe. The next day, American soldiers arrived with trucks. Within an hour, they had subdued the German guards. We were finally able to say we were free.

    Frederick Ehmann's captivity officially ended May 2, 1945. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars.

    S. Flynn

    T/Sgt. George A. Ganem 338th Bomb Squadron

    My father-in-law, T\Sgt George A. Ganem, was in the 96th.BG 338th.BS stationed at Snetterton Heath England. On July 10 1943 he was loaned to the crew of a Capt. Flagg on a B-17 called "Wabbit Twaks". Their target was Lebourget France. I would like any information on this mission the aircraft and the crew. The next mission my father-in-law flew, was July 28th with his own crew on their B-17 "Paper Doll". They had to ditch in the North Sea. Their B-17 floated a record amount of time allowing all crew to exit safely to their rafts. They were picked up by the Germans and spent the rest of the war in Stalag 17-B. He did not know about any ribbons he had earned on his previous mission to Lebourget France. Would like if possible any pictures of these two B-17's and their crews or medals earned or any information at all.

    Donald W. Will

    L/Bmbdr. John Patrick Sullivan Royal Artillery

    I am trying to find anyone who may remember Lance Bombardier John Patrick Sullivan of the Royal Artillery when he was held in Stalag 17b in Austria. He was captured on the Island of Leros and was held in several camps on the way north. I would appreciate any information anyone may have.

    Christopher Kenworthy

    Gunner Henry P. Rhodes

    My father was a POW, I believe in Stalagluft 17B. He was a tail gunner. I would be pleased to hear from anyone who knew him.

    Cheryl Karakoudas

    Sgt. Leslie Skinner Scots Guards

    My father, Sgt Leslie Skinner, served in the Scots Guards. He was taken prisoner in North Africa and transferred by boat to Sicily, from there to Austria and then to Stalag 17B. I have a photo taken in the camp with a Sgt Glaze, Cpl R Smith, Cpl L Smith and a Serb soldier. My father's number 193706 is on the bottom of the photo.

    Ian L Skinner

    Pte Fred Lapthorn Green Howards

    I have little information about my father's time in Stalag XVIIB. I know he was wounded at Mareth Line. As he was a trained butcher, he worked in a butcher outside of the camp which must have made life a little easier for him. He made friends with a local Austrian family who had a son about the same age as myself named Peter Bochzelt. We corresponded with them long after the war ended and I met some of them many years later when working in Hungary. They were very kind and lovely people. Father spoke very little about his wartime experiences and passed away in 1971.

    William Lapthorn

    Clement Resto

    I was looking for my uncle Clement Resto in the National Archives and found him listed as a POW in Stalag Luft 3. My uncle always said he was in Stalag 17B. I looked for his name there but could not find it. My question is: were some of the POWs transferred from one camp to another? Does a person who has been in more than one camp show up in the records as being in those camps?

    Another question: Does anyone know why I can't find `Donald Bevin', the co-author of Stalag 17 in the Archives? He was supposed to be a POW in Stalag 17, but when I searched the online records at the National Archives, his name did not come up. Update

    Donald's surname was Bevan, not Bevin.

    Danny Nieves

    Harold Jackson 365 Squadron 305th Bomb Group

    My dad, Harold Jackson, was with the 8th Air Force, 305th Bomb Group 365 Squadron. He was shot down on his second Schweinfurt Raid on 14th October 1943. He was injured when he bailed out and, after the treatment in hospital, was in Stalag 9c for a brief time. He then went to Stalag 17b until the march and literation. Does anyone remember him?

    William Shepard

    I have found out my nan's brother Bill Shepard was held as a POW at Stalag 17B from around 22nd November 1943 until 13th March 1944 onwards. His POW Number was 155751. I was wondering if anyone knew him or could tell me any more about him or what happened. In his message home (restricted to 25 words) he writes: "Dear Mum, I am in hospital as POW with a slight neck wound through a bomb. Have a good bed and plenty of good food. Love William (this was dated 22nd November 1943). He was in the British Navy as a chef on one of the ships.

    Robbie Hardy

    Alton W. Kramer 8th Air Force

    My grandpa Alton W. Kramer fought in WWII and flew out of England with the 8th Airforce. He spent 13 months in POW camp Stalag 17B in Krems, Austria after his B24 Bomber was shot down. That is about all I know. He does have several medals and ribbons. He did not like to talk about those experiences, and unfortunately, he has passed on. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Michelle Schulte

    Dvr. William Roy Emmett

    I have a series of P.O.W. letters sent home by Driver Emmett. Letters are very bland dealing with his health, weather conditions and his trying to keep busy. He was in P.O.W. Camp P.G. 65, P.M. 3450, Gravina Altamura before being transferred to, P.G. 53 P.M. 3300, Sforza Costa by August 1943. Then transferred to, Stammlager XVII B, Gneizendorf (Austria) by May 1944.

    Thomas Dean

    S/Sgt. Robert Earl "Bob" Tye Group 1

    Bob Tye was shot down and marched for 18 days before being imprisoned in Stalag 17B

    julia tye

    Pte. Harry Edward Dolton Coldstream Guards

    Harry Dolton was my father. He was captured in North Africa around 1942, by Italians and passed over to the Germans. He suffered frost bite and conditions were over crowded while at Stalag 17b.

    David Dolton

    Recomended Reading.

    Available at discounted prices.

    Kriegies & Goons

    James H Lang

    Kriegies & Goons is an unadorned and engaging retelling of author James H. Lang's experience as an American airman and German POW during World War II. Author Lang takes the reader from his early years as a B-25 radio operator and gunner, through his capture off Libya and journey across Axis controlled Europe, and eventual incarceration at a prison camp in Austria. It was there that a contraband camera landed in his possession, allowing him to capture the unique images of prison camp life included within these pages. Concluding with his liberation, Lang shares in his own unfiltered words the thoughts and feelings he experienced throughout his ordeal. This is as real as it gets and is a must read for anyone with an interest in World War II history.
    More information on:

    Kriegies & Goons


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