S/Sgt. Hyman Hatton, gunner, 392nd BG, (Bklyn.,NY)


In January 1945, we were transferred to Stalag Luft 1. The 125 mile trip took 8 days. We were crowded into boxcars. Although there was no room for me, my fellow prisoners crowded themselves to give me a square foot and a half of space.

At the beginning of the trip, one Red Cross parcel was given to every three men. During the 8 day trip, we were not allowed to leave the boxcar and no water was brought to us. We had no food the second and third days. We tried to bribe the guard for water and, on one occasion, we got it.

On the fourth day, we were given one third of a loaf of bread and canned, corned beef. Before one of our doctors could have the word passed around, that the corned beef was contaminated, many of the men ate it and became ill. On the third night, one of the men in my car had convulsions. We finally persuaded a guard to call our doctor. When the doctor came, he got permission to take the man with convulsions and myself, to the boxcar that held the hospital cases. There, conditions were hardly better, except more water was available.

Except at Stalag Luft VI, the rations issued to myself and fellow prisoners were very inadequate. This was especially true while aboard the freighter and in the boxcar. At Stalag Luft IV, we were required to account for every can of food issued. At Stalag Luft 1, rations ceased for two months. The United Stated Army Air Corps Officers at the camp, had a stock pile of food and the non- commissioned prisoners such as myself, were given one meal a day at the mess hall. This consisted of kohlrabi, horsemeat, potatoes or barley soup. I lost a considerable amount of weight during the period I was a prisoner of war.

Diary Entries

April 30th 11:00,Jerry left

May 1st Russian Reco arrived ( Hitler dead, listened to Hit Parade).

May 2nd Left Camp, went out Flak school and Barth.

May 4th Got word to Americans ; airport cleared.

May 5th American Major, Capt. and Sgt arrived...

Notes: Men leaving camp on their own. Russian General visited camp with Russian correspondents