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
From Paul Canin's YMCA log book. Paul was a
roommate and friend of Elroy "Cisco" Wyman.
Typical remark as recorded by Paul - Y'might Say Mooey Bono!
Fw-190's hit "Cisco's" ship after bombing Brunswick, Feb. 20th, 1944.
Ship exploded after he bailed out. Two gunners killed in positions;
pilot & co-pilot fell out of ship which split in two.
A typical New England "Yankee", Wyman is a fast witty talker. Can sell
you a horse with wooden legs. Has a broad background thru working at
many jobs, i.e., lumber & textile mills, real estate. Dad owns farm &
"Cisco" was helpful in teaching me basic facts of chicken farming. He
intends to speculate in odd enterprises after the war & is bound to make
good. Has a generous hand always - good to trade with. Dubbed me
"Rembrandt". Intend to write to : Box 359, North Berwick, Maine
In January 1945 Paul was moved by the Germans to
the "Jewish Barracks" when they decided to segregate the Jewish men from the
other men in the camp. This is the note Paul received notifying him of
Lt. Wyman's death.
Dear Remy, Cisco Wyman was killed yesterday.
He didn't know there was an air raid on and started out the front door.
He went about 2 or 3 steps then turned around. Just as he got back to
the door the guard walking the outside fence shot him through the head.
The range was about 100 yds. The bullet entered the right temple and
came out to the left and above his left eye. He was semi-conscious.
Doc Nichols* operated but he died right after the operation. There
isn't much else news. I have moved to room 5A. Wade moved into
4. This 4 man room is o.k. The food is getting pretty short over
here. I hope to get a personal parcel soon. Andrews has had mail. Have
you had any yet? Well so long and be good. I'll be seeing you.
*Capt. W. Martin
Nichols was a British POW who had been an eminent brain surgeon in England.
He had been a POW since 1940.
I recently received a list of Roland P. Bigley's
roommates and in that email he said that E. F. Wyman had been in a friend
and lived in the same Barracks. He included the following
E. F. Wyman who was shot by a German guard during an air
raid was a personal friend of mine and this occurred about 20 feet from
where I was playing solitaire and I was one of the first ones to his side
and it was obvious he was mortally wounded.
I wrote back to him asking him to tell me more about the incident and
had some questions for him. Here is his response:
Wyman lived in the barracks where I was. The barracks had only one door and
my room was near it, so when Wyman came or went, I saw him most always. When
he was captured, he parachuted out over the town they had been bombing. He
came down in a German's back yard the the man came out with a pitch fork
with the idea of doing him in, but the man's daughter threw herself between
them and wouldn't allow him to be harmed until the German soldiers came to
take him away. I always thought it was ironic that he survived that and then
was killed by an eager guard.
Wyman was from Maine. We all called him the "Yankee Trader" for he was
always trading and trafficking in foodstuff, cigarettes, etc. That is how he
and I became friends - I had my flight cap with me when we were captured.
Wyman kept trying to swap me out of it, but no trade, he finally borrowed it
and made one by hand.
When the Germans had his funeral they brought a black horse drawn hearse
complete with all the trappings, for his body. I don't know where they
buried him. I have to assume some of the very senior officers were allowed
to go. Right after he was shot his body was rushed over to our little camp
hospital. and while the doctors were working on him, the electricity went
off, whether by design or not, I don't know. I
don't know whether the guard was disciplined or not. Also, I don't know if
any complaints were made to the powers that be.
During this same air raid a British flyer attempted to run from one barracks
to an adjacent one and was shot by a guard, but not a mortal wound.
You asked if I heard the air raid siren, I did and apparently most of the
others did, for no one else was outside.
Excerpt from Col. Hubert Zemke's book Zemke's Stalag:
Our worst fears were realized on 18 March when the 8th Air Force was in the
Berlin area and a long air raid confinement took place. About 45
minutes after the alert was given at 1030 hours a South African Air Force
officer in the British compound, Lt. G. V. Whitehouse, forgetfully left his
barracks with a basin full of kitchen refuse. He was in the process of
spreading this on his kitchen garden as a manure dressing when a walking
guard shouted and fired at the same time. The 7.92 mm bullet, fired at
about 40 yards range, passed through Whitehouse's body and two room walls in
a barracks 60 yards distant. The severely wounded Whitehouse dropped
in his tracks to be retrieved by friends. When finally rushed to the
dispensary he was operated on immediately by Lt. Col. Townsend, in charge
during Hankey's absence. With the destruction of a kidney and serious
internal hemorrhage, Townsend's surgery undoubtedly saved Whitehouse's life,
although he was to remain a hospital case to the end of the war.
Around ten minutes later 2nd Lt. E. F. Wyman, who had
been visiting friends in a barracks before the air raid alarm was given
started to walk casually back to his billet. Realizing too late that
there were no other prisoners about, he turned and dashed back to the door
he had just left. As he reached it a bullet struck him in the head and
he fell bleeding, half in and half out of the doorway. Fellow
prisoners dragged him into the hallway and did what they could. The
next problem was how to get a doctor and raise the alarm. Only by beating on
the walls and shouting in crescendo was the attention of a tower guard
attracted to call the authorities to investigate. Twenty minutes
passed before medical help arrived and with an armed guard Wyman was
removed to the hospital. He was beyond medical help and died that
*Col. Zemke's description differs from Lt. Wyman's
barracks roommates in that he places Wyman in another barracks and his
roommates place him in their barracks, but the basic facts remain the same.
Excerpt from file at
On or about 17 march 45, at 1130
hrs, 2nd Lt. Elroy Frank Wyman left his blockhouse and began to walk across
the compound. When he had walked a short distance, he realized that an air
alert was in progress. He turned around and retraced his steps at a slow
trot. Just as he reached the entrance to his blockhouse, he was shot and
killed, without warning by: Obegefreiter Emil Buhler, the German guard on
duty at that time.
The case number of the UN war crimes commission is
file 1628:case 11 of US vs Germany.
Possibly Lt. Elroy Wyman's funeral and
casket in chapel at Stalag Luft I.