The diary of John P. Sandford
20 February - 27 March 1945
|FEB, 20. to Dargun:||22 km||13.2 miles||268.6 total miles|
Sleep by thrasher in aisle. Large farm but flimsy buildings.
|FEB, 21. layover:|
High wind forces us to change fire area to spot next to small pond - kids with onions in pockets slip by guards to trade. Beautiful day of bashing.
|FEB, 22. to Neukalen:||17 km||10.2 miles||278.8 total miles|
Via Dargun - stay in sectioned barn at near edge of fair-sized town - barn is fairly large and in good appearance - marched through streets to chow of boiled spuds, thick barley soup. Much trading for "Brot" - civilians want coffee. English speaking Jugend in uniform - specs - friendly - actively trading. Col. Goode forbids trading of clothes or D bars. No fires. "Trading Alley" with guards allowing furtive women to barter brot, saccharine, etc.
|FEB, 23. to Basedow:||19 km||11.4 miles||290.2 total miles|
Via R.R. Center of Malchin (some evidence of bombing). G.I's working on tracks .."Any officers there?" "Yop" "How about a three day pass?" Rain - move out from under hole in barn roof. Goon issue 1/6 loaf bread, soup and spuds. Been getting ersatz daily at noon halts since 19th.
|FEB, 24. to Cramon:||18 km||10.8 miles||301 total miles|
In loft over sheep with goon horses in aisle. Fires in hollow.
|FEB, 25. to Plauerhagen:||22 km||13.2 miles||314.2 total miles|
Walk cross country by lakes and through woods - rain - Arbeiters sneak out food from house - rat race after milesk with guard going in one door and lads coming out the other - a Merry Go Round.
|FEB, 26. layover:|
Rain. No fires.
|FEB, 27. to Lutheran:||16 km||9.6 miles||323.8 total miles|
Small farm with French workers - woman coffee-mad - barter in kitchen after knocking on door "Ich habe Baffee" - get Brot, saccharine, onions, sargum. Sugar from the French. Issue 1/2 RC Box #10.
|FEB, 28. to Siggelkow:||15 km||9 miles||332.8 total miles|
Via Rom, Luebz ("Hey fella, ya need a haircut!), Neuburg - circuitous route across country in a long "short-cut" in sight of Parchim. Air raid sirens scream. Town of Siggelkow - "Welcoming" group in top hats and tails. Sleep by door under light owner gives firewood - fires in street. Bakery with huge loaves.
|MARCH, 1-5 - Siggelkow layover:|
Waiting for transportation out of Parchim - marked by constant trading - bashing issues of soup, spuds, and 1/6 loaf of bread daily
|March 3:||Bill (Warthen) operates for brot. 1/4 RC #10 (USA)|
Greeted by pistol-packing guard. 2 officers missing in Parchim. Appeal. Get shoes fixed for soap by refugee cobbler. He examines shoes carefully, looking for "ersatz" ingredients - surprised to find none.
|MARCH 6. - to Parchim:||8 km||4.8 miles||337.6 total miles|
Up at 4:30 am - march to train. "U.S. POW" painted on car roofs.
|MARCH 7 & 8. - train trip to Hammelburg:|
Sweat out air raids and hope for the best. Arrive station evening of 8th.
|MARCH 9. - to Lager Hammelburg:||4 km||2.4 miles||340 total miles|
March up mountain overlooking picturesque valley to lager - Hammelburg - OFLAG XIIIB - gathered in riding ring - greeted by general -"crowded- that's war". Enter in groups of 100 - searched - grass soup - shower at 11:00 PM - quartered at 02:00 PM. Our first march is ended.
|MARCH 10 - 27: Lager Hammelburg (OFLAG XIIIB)|
Col. Goode finds himself senior officer and takes charge. POW's mostly taken in the Battle of the Bulge were unorganized, dispirited and unkempt. "Shave & clean up by morning!" Long-time kriegies take the new ones in hand.
|MARCH 27th: Rescue Day by Task Force Baum|
(Map by Ulrich Koch, Berlin - Germany)
2002 © Copyright Peter Domes - Date of last change: 2021-07-10