World War II prisoner of war camp - Stalag Luft I


World War II - Prisoners of War - Stalag Luft I 

A collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I


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James Haffner- WWII B-17 bombardier and POW 1st Lt. James D. Haffner    of Seattle, Washington
 B-17 Bombardier on Omar the Dentmaker
401st BG 615th BS, 8th Air Force
Shot down on March 26, 1944

Kriegie # 4198
South Compound- Barracks 1- Room 14 - Room Leader

E-mail his wife at


James Haffner with fellow crew members in World War II
Front row L-R: 1st Lt. Michael R. Walsh Navigator, 1st Lt. Robert D. Kaercher Co-Pilot, Captain William M. Rumsey, Jr. Pilot, 1st Lt. James Daniel Haffner Bombardier (POW Stalag Luft I).

Back Row L-R:1st person unknown...then T/Sgt. William W. Carter radio operator, Herb McElligot tail gunner, T/Sgt. Donald B. Roberts Engineer, S/Sgt. Ivan R. Lee waist  gunner, S/Sgt Irving I. Lieberman "Lucky Lieberman" ball turret gunner. 

Mr. John B. Carson who was the substitute tail gunner on March 26,1944 when Omar the Dentmaker was hit by flak over Pas de Calais, France and exploded, is not pictured here.


The Crew of Omar the Dentmaker

B-17   42-37833     401st BG  615thBS 

Shot down by Flak on March 25, 1944  crashed near Pouguermai, France

Pilot Capt. William M. Rumsey, Jr. KIA Folsom City, CA
Co-Pilot Lt. Robert D. Kaercher KIA Cavalier, ND
Navigator Lt. Michael R. Walsh KIA Corona, NY
Bombardier Lt. James D. Haffner POW Seattle, WA
Top Turret Gunner T/Sgt. Donald B. Roberts KIA Wampsville, NY
Radio Operator T/Sgt. William W. Carter KIA Salt Lake City, NV
Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt. Irving I. Lieberman KIA Baltimore, MD
Right Waist Gunner S/Sgt. Ivan R. Lee KIA Johnson City, NY
Left Waist Gunner S/Sgt. Frank A. Rothwell KIA Philadelphia, PA
Tail Gunner Sgt. John B. Carson POW Chattanooga, TN


Letter from eyewitness to crash during WWII Letter written in June 1946 from  J. Yaeguemelle (a French citizen) - an eyewitness to the crash and to the burial of the deceased crew members.
newspaper article on Dan Haffner - World War II POW News articles on Dan Haffner and on the liberation of Stalag Luft I
V-mail sent  from Camp Lucky Strike V-mail letter sent to his parents from Camp Lucky Strike while awaiting his shipment home.

"I cannot explain in words how wonderful it is to be free again and in the friendly and protecting hands of Uncle Sam."

Roberts Letter Page 1 - touching letter by parents who lost their only child in WWII 

 Roberts Letter Page 2


Donald B. Roberts - WWII B-17 Engineer killed March 26, 1944

Donald B. Roberts

Letter received from parents of  Donald B. Roberts (the Engineer) who along with 7 other crew members was killed on March 26, 1944:

Wampsville, NY
June 10, 1945

Dear Jim,

    We rec'd your letter from England and thank you for writing to us. We are happy for you and your family that you will soon be reunited and we hope you are well.

     It was an awful shock to us to lose our Don as you know he was all we had.  We are trying to carry on as best we can but life will never be quite the same again.

    There are many things we would like to know but we don't like to ask too many questions as you have been through so much we know there are many things you would like to forget.

    We would like to know just what happened on that last fatal mission.

     Do you think the boys were killed instantly.  It would be a comfort to know that they didn't suffer.

     Is there any way we can find out if they were buried and where.

     Don was so fond of all the boys and so proud of your crew.  He was so sure you would all come through as your crew was one of the best in the Air Corps.

     We want to know more about yourself.  Will you be discharged from the Service?  If not and you should be stationed here in the East and should have a short furlough we would be glad to have you come here.

    Just give us a ring our phone number is Oneida N.Y.  1409 - RI.

    We will be grateful for any information you can give us.

    God bless you and your family.

Sincerely Yours,
Berhn & Elsie Roberts


Statement of Recovered Personnel - Haffner     Statement of Recovered Personnel - Haffner - Page 2   Statement Or Report of Interview of Recovered Personnel
James D. Haffner (left) at Flight School training in Tulare, California    James D. Haffner (left) at Flight School Training in Tulare, California
Newspaper articles on James D. Haffner   Local newspaper articles on James D. Haffner during World War II.
Haffner liberated   Lt. J. Haffner liberated


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This site created and maintained by Mary Smith and Barbara Freer, daughters of Dick Williams, Jr.