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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S/Sgt. John H. "Jack" McCracken - WWII gunner & POW S/Sgt. John H. "Jack" McCracken

Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on a B-17
390th Bomb Group
570th Bomb Squadron

Shot down 9/9/44  on a mission to Düsseldorf, Germany and imprisoned at Stalag Luft IV and Stalag Luft I


Click here to email Jack


Jack served his county as an Engineer and Top Turret Gunner on a B-17 during World War II.  He was shot down on his 18th mission while flying in a brand new B-17 (it's first mission).  He retired from the U.S. Air Force in August 1968 with 25 years of service and then returned to the Air Force as a civilian employee from January 1969 to September 1982.
Lt. Donald J. Harris Original Crew Lt . Donald J. Harris Original Crew

Kneeling left to right:  Lt. Petre- Bombardier, Lt. Jest - Navigator, Lt. Harris - Pilot, Lt. Ford - Co-Pilot

Standing left to right:  Sgt. Stoncipher - Ball Turret Gunner, Sgt. Gordon - waist gunner, S/Sgt. McCracken - Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, Sgt. Jones - Asst. Engineer/waist gunner, S/Sgt. Anderson - Radio Operator, Sgt. Jarsynka - Tail Gunner

Map of Stalag Luft IV Map of Stalag Luft IV   (see listing of roommates below)
Prisoners of War Motor Cycle Club Prisoner of War Motor Cycle Club - During the many idle hours in Stalag Luft I, Jack and a group of friends dreamed of starting a motor cycle club for former prisoners of war and touring the United States when the war was over. (Jack said it didn't matter that he had never even ridden a motor cycle!)   They had another POW design this logo for their club.  Unfortunately the club never materialized, but planning it helped them pass many idle hours in the POW camp, while helping keep their mind off the cold and hunger..
For You Der Var Ist Oufer Jack's book -  For You Der Var Ist Oufer.

The book may be purchased for $7.50 by e-mailing him at 

Jack McCracken - WWII days & current


Correspondence from POW Camp

Post card from Dulag Luft

This is the first correspondence that the prisoners were allowed to send.  It was sent from Dulag Luft (the interrogation center/transit camp) before they were shipped off to a permanent camp. It was a pre-printed form and the POW was only allowed to communicate whether he was in good health or slightly wounded.

Post card home from POW camp

Post card home - 3/23/45 from POW camp

Post card from Stalag Luft I (note the Stalag Luft I center stamp which reads in German -  Prisoner of War - No. 1 - of the Luftwaffe).

Two  of these post cards and one letter were allowed to be sent each month.

Reverse side of post card.  Note it is dated 3/23/45, but on the front you see it wasn't postmarked until 4/16/45 (almost a month later).




Roommates at Stalag Luft IV

Compound C - Barracks 3 - Room 9

Byron E. Burgin New Orleans, LA
William L. Cupp  Northfield, MN
Melvin P. Demmin Peoria, IL
Nerone A. Franco Detroit, MI
Edward S. Gates Durham, NC
Lester Geisman Brooklyn, NY
Donald B. Hausler Cleveland, OH
Robert E. Ice West Frankfurt, IL
William J. Knightly Wichita, KS
Robert M. Knox Philadelphia, PA
Vincent W. Landolfi (elected as Room Chief) New York, NY
John H. McCracken Ligonier, PA
Ernest M. McKim Glen Cove, NY
Mike Pesta Phoenixville, PA
Robert R. Reed Roselle, NJ
John H. Rex Mays Landing, NJ
Cecil F. Smith  Clearwater, CA
Henry J. Smith Dalton, PA
William F. Smith State College, PA
William D. Stroud Green Sea, SC
Russell W. Todd St. Augustine, FL
R. James Wray St. Louis, MO


Roommates at Stalag Luft I 

North 3 Compound - Barracks 4 (Block 304) - Room 13
Edward B. Bayhi New Orleans, LA
William Beadle Terre Haute, IL
E.J. Biasetti Yonkers, NY
P.B. Brady Philadelphia, PA
Melvin O. Brown W. Palm Beach, FL
W.G. Burt Denver, CO
J.F. Campbell Philadelphia, PA
C.T. Deckert Ozone Park, NY
L.E. Dunster Nashua, MT
William P. England Des Moines, NM
I.A. Galler Washington, DC
A. Grimshaw Glendale, CA
R.N. Hovey Cedar Falls, IA
F.H. Hudson Lubbock, TX
Carl E. Ingersoll Emporium, PA
John H. McCracken Ligonier, PA
R.F. Miquet Evansville, IN
D.H. Murphy Chicago, IL
N.L. Pucket Dalton, GA
C.B. Rice L'Anse, MI
C.L. Rubadou Barrington, RI
J.A. Scott Glen Alpine, NC
C.J. Skomiski Detroit, MI
C.R. Stewart Carmen, OK

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