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. Phern Stout - WWII gunner and POW

Awarded 5 Bronze Stars
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal with 9 Oak Leaf Clusters
Good Conduct Medal

S/Sgt. Phern Stout 
Lockwood, MO
379th Bomb Group - 527th Bomb Squad 
Drew Field - Tampa FL - Gunnery Instructor
398th Bomb Group - 600th Bomb Squad
Tail Gunner

Shot down November 26, 1944
POW camp - Stalag Luft IV

When he parachuted from the plane he landed in a plowed field and when he looked up there was a German farmer standing there with a double barreled shotgun aimed at him.   During his time as a POW he said that at times they had to boil shoe leather to make a broth so they had something to eat.  He stated that he was marched around Germany for 18 weeks at the end of the war and was liberated by the Russians.  It is reported that when he returned home he weighed less than 100 lbs.  

Phern Stout enlisted in the Army Air Force on June 5, 1941 at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He graduated from Aerial Gunnery School in Las Vegas, NV on November 16, 1942 and was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant.  He was sent to England as a tail gunner on a combat crew assigned to the 379th Bomb Group, where he completed the required 25 missions.  While flying with them on a raid to Stuttgart, in a B-17 flying fortress named Judy, they were  hit by enemy fire and all manual flight controls were lost and half of their oxygen supply destroyed.  High over France on the way home he and seven of the other crewmembers refused to bail out and leave the two waist gunners  who were wounded.  So with nothing but George (the automatic pilot) and a prayer, he and his crew flew back to England and eased down on a just long enough strip of an RAF field.  Phern was credited with shooting down a FW-190 just before drowsiness hit him from lack of oxygen.  He was awarded the "Distinguished Flying Cross".  After the war he returned home to Lockwood where he lived the remainder of his life until he passed away in 1971 at the age of 56.

Newspaper articles and letters home

newspaper article - WWII

WWII newspaper article

AP article on Phern and his "Judy" crew - September 1943

"Back in the tail of the fortress Sgt. Phern Stout bagged himself a FW-190 just before drowsiness hit him because of lack of oxygen."

Sept. 18, 1943 letter from Phern to his parents

After completing his missions with the 379th Bomb Group he returned to the United States in December 1943 and was sent to Drew Field in Tampa, Florida as a gunnery instructor.


newspaper article - Phern Stout

newspaper article about Phern Stout Phern was the tail gunner on my Dad's crew and was flying with them when they were shot down on November 26, 1944 while bombing Misburg, Germany.   This article was printed in Phern's hometown newspaper detailing the MIA report to his parents. His parents had received a letter dated November 22 from him in which he told them he had only 4 more missions to complete before coming home. The article states that Phern had dreaded going back for another bombing tour, telling his friends that he would never come back because "A man can never be that lucky twice".  The article notes that it is possible that he may be a prisoner in Germany.


POW postcard home

prisoner of war post card home

A Postcard home from Dulag Luft

A Postcard from POW camp


In this article his parents have received word from the War Department that Phern has been liberated from a German prison camp and is being returned to the United States.  The paper also states the Phern carried out his part in the war in a magnificent manner! newpaper article about POW liberation


Phern arrived home and will have a 60 day furlough visiting his parents.  He reports that he has 138 points and hopes the Air Force will see fit to return him to civilian life. 


Phern Stout and crew of Judy in World War II

Phern Stout (second from right)

This photo was found with Phern's  memorabilia, but nothing is known about it.   If you have any knowledge about it please email us.  

Could it be the crew of Judy mentioned in the AP article from when he was a member of the 379th Bomb Group? or  Perhaps some newly freed POWs?


B-17 Judy with crew 1943

527th Bomber Squadron, 8th Air Force, 1944 World War Two, B17(?) "Judy" Crew

The censor blackened the crews patches. 

Front row, left to right:
Edwards, Sgt. Robert E. Bryson, St. Pierre, Sgt. Phern Stout, Gast(?)

Back row, left to right:
Dawson, Capt. Brown, Lt. Noble M. Johnson, Lt. Jacobs, Lt. Templeton



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