Technical Sergeant Ellis Pierson
Unit : 379th Bomb Group, US 8th Air Force
Camps : Dulag Luft, Stalag VIIA.
'I was the radio operator and gunner on a B-17 and we were shot down over the target at Magdeburg Germany on Sept 28, 1944. I was captured immediately as I fell on the outskirts of the city as bombs were still falling. People were waiting for me on the ground even before I landed.'
'After a little pushing around we (several other members of my crew and I) were taken to Wetzlar in early Oct where the Luftwaffe interrogation center was located. I was put in a cell with a Tommy who had been captured near Arnhem (I guess). I introduced myself and tried to start up a conversation. All the Tommy would do was point to the walls and put his finger on his lips. This guy was smarter than me and I quickly realized that Jerry was listening. We didn't talk anymore and soon I was moved to solitary for five days of softening up before interrogation. Later, after the quiz, I was moved to Dulag Luft, a Luftwaffe redistribution depot. There were dozens of British paratroopers there, all in full kit as you would say. They taught me 44 verses of "Roll me Over". They had high morale and were a great group! I was captured in flying clothes and the Germans gave me pieces of RAF and French uniforms. I must have looked real scraggly!! There were a bunch of American NCO's and we all were in much the same shape. Imagine our surprise when one day in marched a PARADE of well dressed, neat-as-a-pin company of British in perfect step and regulation as if on parade in Piccadilly.'
'After many months and several removals I ended up at Moosburg, Stalag VIIA. This camp was reputed to have 20,000 Allied prisoners of 26 different nationalities. This was now April '45 and the Germans were not so cocky anymore, but they and we were all about out of food. We did occasionally get a half of red cross package. The next lager over were British POW's mostly ground troops captured in N Africa. We were somewhat on the interior of the camp and we breached the fence between our lagers. It turned out that the Tommies had been getting some American packages too and didn't like the coffee. We had some tea, but really didn't care for it. I offered mine to one of the chaps and he showed me how to brew up a cuppa in the proper manner. It was much better than any I had made and we shared many a tale over the next few days. I have been a great admirer of the British soldier every since.'
Ellis Pierson currently resides in Florida, USA, and has been back to England many times since the war for matters of business and pleasure.
Return to POW Stories Menu