The diary of John P. Sandford

28 March - 9 April 1945

MARCH 28: Entrain at Hammelburg

1/4 #10 RC Box courtesy of Serbs. Ride in box car with Col. Goode & staff.

MARCH 29: on train

Arrive Nuremberg [Nuernberg] at night during air raid. Bombs, Sirens.

MARCH 30: Nuremberg [Nuernberg]

Enter Stalag Luft III - tents - coffee from RC boxes given us. British major in white jacket in charge.

APRIL 3: Preparation for moving

Sick leave by train. Issued British RC Box plus 2 cans marge, 1 can biscuits, 2 fruit bars, a barracks bag and khaki pants.

APRIL 4. - to Ochenbruck: 14 km 8.75 miles 8.75 total miles  

Last scramble for food - cocoa line - wormy peas - meat grabbed by mobs - goon sugar. We leave from appeal formation. Mob - platoon groups but stragglers galore - guards with dogs. At Feucht the head of our column caught in bombing of R.R. yard by P51's which is next to the road. 3 killed. Arrive Ochenbruck 2030 and bivouac in woods. Fires for 1/2 hour.

APRIL 5. - to Pfeifferhuette: 15 km 9.375 miles 18.125 total miles  

Leave 0800 after bash of cocoa, oatmeal, fresh meat. Watch a big air raid on Nuremberg [Nuernberg]. By-passed by another block. Fertile valley - 4 hour halt on outskirts of town of Polling - Neumarkt. Rain - delay - feed in dark on pea soup 0100. Issue 1/9 loaf. March along highway in rain and black from 02:00-06:00. Bivouac in woods. RC white trucks carry the sick. Water from canal.

APRIL 6. - to Berching: 10 km 6.25 miles 24.375 total miles  

Column strung out. Leave 13:00 - march to Berching in heavy showers. 1/2 RC Box (British) and 1/9 loaf. Sleep by organ in church balcony - soaked

APRIL 7. - to Sandersdorf: 30 km 18.75 miles 43.125 total miles  

Leave 10:00 - column still strung out - to Beilngries (county seat). Climb mountain. Town filled up - hour for meal. March 6 more kilos - arrive 21:00. To bed at 22:00.

APRIL 8. - layover Sandersdorf (Sunday):

Large lighted barn - high on a hill next to what appears to be a resort hotel - very trim - beaucoup holz - fires.

APRIL 9. - to Neustadt: 17 km  10.625 miles 53.75 total miles  

Leave 0900. Through Minderstetten - cross Danube on bridge fitted with demolition bombs. Troops in evidence - mostly Luft - 88's emplaced - bombers fly over. 1 US RC Box per 2. Through Neustadt - billet 3rd tier barn at Forchheim. Issue 1/4 loaf.

(Map by Ulrich Koch, Berlin - Germany)

2002 Copyright Peter Domes -  Date of last change: 2021-07-10