Chapter 6 — Stalag Luft I - Impressions & Experiences

The Charles Reed Holden Story

by Charles “Reed” Holden
as told through William A. “Bill” Sutton

Biographical notes and a special story
of a WW II shoot-down
and POW experience as related by
a B-17 Ball Gunner:

Page 1 of 3 Pages

During the trip to Stalag Luft I, we were given “Red Cross food Parcels” to eat, which was not much and we were always hungry. Five days later the train stopped and we were ordered off the train, lined up and addressed by a German Officer.

The Officer told us that this is an “Officers Camp” and that they needed orderlies for the American Officers. I nudged the guy next to me and told him, I have been on this “rattler” for five days and that I was going to volunteer to be an orderly and he readily agreed with me. We had no idea what it would be like at an enlisted man’s camp and it proved to be the best move we had ever made.

When we arrived at Stalag Luft I, we were processed in and records were made out for each prisoner and then fourteen of us were marched to Barracks # 12 and assigned to a room, Block 12 - Room 7.

It wasn’t long and the guards came in and removed one of our bunkmates and his meager possessions from our group. We were quite worried what was going to happen to him, because he was Jewish, we thought it would be the end of him. Two or three weeks later he showed up for a visit and he told us he had been put in a barracks with a bunch of Officers and that they pulled rank on him. I told him “That’s what you get for hanging out with Officers” and we all had a good laugh.

Group Picture of men assigned to Reed’s barracks

We were very happy to learn that he was all right.

Sometime later I learned that Sgt. Bosak, flying the waist gun and Sgt. Pete Petroski, the tailgunner had both bailed out much sooner than I and were captured by the Germans. I also learned that both men had been wounded and had been sent home by the Germans after being treated.

End of Page 1 of 3 Pages, Chapter 6 — Go To Page 2

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