collection of stories, photos, art and information on Stalag Luft I
If you are a former Prisoner of War or a next of
kin of a POW, we invite you to sign and leave your email address so others that
come may find you. Please mention camp, compound, barracks and room numbers if
Ed Kamarainen Iron River, Wisconsin
491st Bomb Group 853rd Squadron
Radio Operator on B-24
Stalag Luft IV, evacuated Feb. 6, 1945.
Hunger March until April 10, 1945.
Liberated Stalag XIB Folingbostle April 18, 1945
Shot down on his 20th mission, November 26, 1944 on a mission to
Misburg, Germany. This was his 20th mission. See crew listing
After the war Ed returned home
and married Eva
Rantala on Aug 25, 1945. He was employed by Great Northern Railway
now known as BNSF Railway for 32 years, retiring in 1978. He
and Eva raised 5 children and they now have 13 grandchildren and 3 great grands.
Currently he and Eva live in Renton, WA. He is a member of the
Skyway WA VFW post 9430 and AX-POW Seattle chapter.
While on the Hunger March from Stalag Luft IV Ed's group had a
representative named or nicknamed "Tex". Ed shared his
food and blanket during this march with a man named Ben and they became
good friends. Ed remembers Ben telling him of New York, his life
in the Bronx, and Coney Island. Ed was lucky enough to have
an extra pair of socks and when Ben began having trouble with blisters,
Ed gave him his extra pair. Around April 11th Ed was having a lot
of trouble with his legs and decided (even under the threat of being
shot, should the German doctors decide he could have marched) that he
could no longer go on the march. Ben begged him to continue, but
Ed knew he couldn't continue and he would just have to trust that the
German doctors would agree with him, so he stayed behind when the others
left. The German doctors never showed up and not long after that
the war was over. But one thing bothered Ed, shortly after Ben and the
others had left to continue the march, Ed realized that after all they
had gone through together, he and Ben had neglected to exchange home
addresses and even last names, so now there was no way they could contact
each other when they returned to the states. So Ben if you are out
there you owe Ed a pair of socks, but more importantly... he would
love an email or phone call!!
2006 Update - I received an email from Ed, he informed me that he
had finally located his Ben, his name was Benedict R Tieniber , he
passed away in 1973.
Books on Stalag Luft IV - Five
books written by Joseph P. O'Donnell on Stalag Luft IV and the Death
March across Germany. Available for purchase from the author.
Ed and Eva Kamarainen - September, 2000
American Ex-Prisoners of War Banquet in Louisville, KY
Ed's 7th mission ended like this - on English coast.
Pilot Butler got DFC for deadstick landing from 3000 feet
The crew on Ed's plane the day they were shot down - November 26, 1944
Right Waist Gunner
Victor E. Callicrate
Left Waist Gunner
From our guestbook:
Name:Gini Giddiens Hometown: Panama City, FL Sent: 4.43 PM - 5/8 2001
Great page! Mr. Kamarainen sent me the site. My fatherRalph Butlerwas pilot on his crew...
Name:Edwin E Kamarainen Hometown: Renton Wa Sent: 11.32 PM - 3/12 2001
Mary and Barbara! What a wonderful page you have built here. I was originally
from Iron River Wi, but for last 27 years have resided in Renton Wa. I was radio
gunner with Ralph Butler crew with 491st BG 853rd Sqdn and was shot down in
mission over Misburg, in which the 8th AF suffered one of the greatest losses of
the war Nov 26 1944. I was looking for information on the web on whereabouts of
my Pilot Butler and got a response from Mary. Mary was searching for information
about her Dad and after several emails it developed that her dad was shot down
the same day over the same target as I was. Mary's dads group was 398th, a B 17 group, we were in B24 "Dorty Treek".I was taken to Dulag Luft for
interrogation then road box car for several days to
Stalag Luft 4.Feb 6 45 the
camp was evacuated and I wound up on "Hunger March" until middle of April. We
arrived at stalag 11B first part of April. After a few days Germans moved us out
again and announced if there was anyone that couldn't walk any more, they could
fall out, and the German doctor would examine them, and if he decided we could
have we will be shot. I had varicose veins in my legs and thought I would get by
and fell out. My friend Ben, whom I had shared everything with during the march
with begged me not go, but my mind was made up and fell out. We hadn't exchanged
home addresses and didn't do it that day, and to this day I don't know where he
is. At that
time he was from New York area. If anyone knows where he might be please let me
know. I had even forgotten his last name! The German doctor didn't show up and we
were liberated on April 16 1945.
Kamarainen Hometown: Renton Wa Sent: 3:58 PM - 11/5 2000
Thank you Mary and Barbara for putting my page in AXPOW Web, and for
spreading the word of my search for Ben. If there is anyone in New York
area POW Chapters that knows or has known a man by named Ben I would
appreciate receiving this information. Please Email me. This web is a
wonderful means of communication among POWs searching for information
about friends and loved ones. Keep up the good work!
Saari Hometown: Maple, WI Sent: 1:00 AM - 11/2 2000
This is interesting history. Ed Kamarainen is my uncle and I am
so glad he made it home. I appreciate the men and women who served our country so much more, being able to visit this
web site. Thanks to all persons who served in the military!
So many died to make our country free.
Kamarainen Hometown: Fort Worth, TX Sent: 1:50 PM - 5/9
Hi!! My dad ( Ed Kamarainen) said I should check out this website. I think it is a good
idea. He was also shot down over the same area. Before the German soldiers arrived he was beaten
to unconsciousness by the local farmers. He has written a couple of articles for newsletters about his experiences
Name: Edwin E Kamarainen Hometown: Renton Wa Sent: 4:27 PM - 3/24
Mary; As we found out, your dad and I were shot down over the same target
on the same date, Misburg Nov 26 1944. I was with 491st BG about an hour
earlier. Congratulations on your very informative sight .Best
wishes! Ed & Eva