R. Madlung enlisted in the Army 1-14-41 and was transferred to the Army Air Corp after the
bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1944 his B17 Bomber Crew were transferred from Alexandria (LA)
Army Air Field to Nuthampstead (air base) England (about 35 miles north of London).
On their 12th mission (11-21-44) to bomb the Luena Oil Fields near
Meersberg, Germany, their B17 was hit by FW 190 German Fighters. They bailed out and were
captured immediately. Jack was ordered to swim across the Saale River by a large number of
Gestapo. He was taken to Stalag Luft IV prison camp near Gros-Tychow in Poland (by crowded
boxcars). They were kept in near starving conditions until they were evacuated 2-6-45 to
escape the advancing Russians. They began a forced march (some refer to it as "Death
March" because so many lives were lost because of starvation and very little medical
help). They were liberated when the prison guards surrendered to U.S. troops at Halle.
Jack had gone from 188 lbs. to 119 lbs. and had suffered very much at the hands of the
German Army. He was wounded by flak when his plane was hit. He did not receive the Purple
Heart until 50 years later because records could not be found. Friend Eugene Minchoff,
Quarryville, PA who was on this mission, verified this to authorities. Gene is now the
only living member of this crew.