CONFIDENTIAL

No.428

BRITISH/AMERICAN

LUFTWAFFENLAZARET 4/XI (WISMAR)

 

Date of visit: April 26th, 1944.


Chief German Medical Officer & Commandant: Oberstarzt Dr. BENGSCH

Surgeon entrusted with the treatment of all prisoners of war: Oberstabsarzt Dr. SCHIMANSKI

Accompanying Officer German High Command: Hptm. KELLER

 

This is the first visit paid by a Representative of the Protecting Power to this lazaret.

 

1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

        This lazaret was built in 1939 exclusively for patients belonging to the German Air Force Personnel.

        It is a very modern hospital. The building, a solid construction, has been erected and equipped on the most recent lines, for a capacity of 420 patients. It is surrounded by a big garden. The climate is a bit rough and windy but as the town is situated only a few miles from the shore, it is very healthy.

 

2. CAPACITY AND PRESENT PERSONNEL:

        At present all the beds are occupied. The only prisoners of war kept at this lazaret are

                10 American and 2 British prisoners of war of the Air Force Personnel.

        They are all accommodated in one ward and cannot mix with the German patients. They are treated by the German medical staff.

        On an average 10 British or American prisoners of the flying personnel are treated at this hospital. As soon as they have completely recovered, they are sent to the interrogation center "Oberursel" and afterwards to the "Dulag Luft", Frankfurt/Main, in order to be transferred to appropriate camps.

        Four of the patients at present treated here have come from the Reserve-Lazarett Sandbostel, whereas the others were taken to this hospital immediately after their capture.

 

3. INTERIOR ARRANGEMENTS:

        The ward is very clean, tidy, clear and spacious enough to accommodate these 12 patients. The room looks on to the garden and is very sunny.

        The bedding is very fine and extremely clean. Night-shirts are given by the hospital. The change of the bed-linen and the laundry is done whenever needed.

 

4. TREATMENT:

        The treatment was said to be highly satisfactory in every respect. As some of the patients know the German language fairly well, they have no difficulty in their daily relations with the staff and the doctor.

 

5. STATE OF HEALTH:

        Full particulars are given hereafter. Generally speaking, they look quite well although it is felt that they miss the Red Cross invalid food parcels.

 

6. FOOD AND COOKING:

        No complaints were made. It was reported that the food supplied by the lazaret is adequately prepared but not nourishing enough.

        The Delegate of the Protecting Power will now arrange with the Stalag Luft 1, Barth, that a regular supply of weekly Red Cross invalid food parcels to these patients can be ensured.

 

7. ENTERTAINMENTS:

        Some books have been sent to this lazaret from the International Red Cross Committee at Geneva upon personal request of some of the patients. A regular supply and exchange of books of the library belonging to the above mentioned Stalag at Barth will be organized in future. Those patients who are able to get up have their regular walks under supervision of guards in the gardens of the hospital.

 

8. MAIL:

        The prisoners of war are allowed their regular correspondence. Only two patients who have arrived before November 1943 have received home mail. The others are now very anxious to get their first news and private parcels. In this connection it was reported that difficulties have seemingly arisen on account of the fact that these patients have not yet received their German prisoner of war number. The Protecting Power is requested to clear the situation with the authorities concerned.

 

9. GENERAL IMPRESSION:

        The prisoner of war patients are treated in every respect in the same manner as the German patients with the only exception that in the ward of the prisoners of war an armed guard has to be on service the whole day long. This, however, is arranged in such a delicate way that the patients do not particularly feel their presence.

        Although the outfit is up to date, it would be appreciated if the American/British Red Cross could supply some dressings with regard to the many surgical cases which are treated here (amputations etc.)

        The Delegate of the Protecting Power interviewed each patient individually in the ward. The spirit of these prisoners is excellent, although in some cases they seemed to be somewhat depressed, because, till now, they did not receive any home mail. They would be very grateful if their relatives could be informed about their present conditions by the Governments, indicating that, in general, they feel quite well and giving full particulars about their state of health as reported hereafter.

        With regard to the possibility of having these patients presented to the Mixed Medical Commission, the commandant of the lazaret suggested that in future the commission should visit this lazaret as well on its regular tour, as he will not be in a position to send the patients, as it was requested up till now, to the Stalag Luft at Barth. Moreover, these transports are always detrimental to the healing process. The Protecting Power will take up this question with the German High Command as each patient should be given the opportunity to appear before the board upon his own request.

        Till now the selection has been made exclusively by the German High Command based on the regular reports received from the lazaret.

        The whole medical equipment and sanitary installations show that no economy was observed to make this lazaret one of the finest Army hospitals in Germany. Consequently the whole operation theatre with a separate septic and antiseptic section and other outfits (X-ray station etc.) allow the treatment of the most difficult surgical as well as internal cases. Also the staff is excellent.

 

10. FULL PARTICULARS CONCERNING THE PRISONERS OF WAR UNDER TREATMENT IN THIS LAZARET:

British:

        1. Adamson, Wolf, born in Soutchiri on 19.4.14

                Serv.No.1378803

                relatives in Dublin

                admitted: 24.8.43.

                Diagnosis: amputation of lower left leg, large flesh wound on right foot.

                Prognosis: wounds healed, wears temporary prosthesis.

        2. Marsch, Frank. Sergt. born in London on 26.5.23

                Serv.No.1890369

                Father: Frank Marsch, 205 Bellingham Rd., Catford, London, S.E.6.

                admitted: 20.11.43.

                Diagnosis: complicated fracture of both lower legs.

                Prognosis: right lower leg knitted, left leg still pulpy, surgical intervention probably necessary, complete recovery doubtful, possibly suitable for repatriation.

        3. Midlane, Alan. Sergt. born in Southampton on 25.1.24.

                Serv.No.1852348

                Father: L. Midlane, Westham View, Hampshire, Besingstoke, Lower Brook Street.

                admitted: 25.3.44.

                Diagnosis: fracture of left lower leg, fracture of 6. and 7. ribs right, fracture of 2. right toe and fracture of pubis bone and ischium left.

                Prognosis: condition is satisfactory, complete recovery to be expected.

 

AMERICANS:

        1. Farlan, Robert, born in Cleveland on 1.12.22

                Serv.No.1532102

                Mother: Della H. Mac Farlane, East Cleveland 13129 Euclid Ave.

                admitted: 21.12.43.

                Diagnosis: bullet wound in anus and pelvis.

                Prognosis: wound in process of healing, complete recovery probable.

        2. Mc Gee, William. S/Sergt. born in Angier on 30.10.09

                Serv.No.33125955

                Mother: Lettie Mc Gee, Angier, Road 1.

                admitted: 10.10.43

                Diagnosis: fracture of left upper arm.

                Prognosis: the fracture is at the moment not yet fast, further surgical measures will be possibly necessary, at the moment the arm is enclosed in plaster of Paris. Complete recovery of functioning to be expected.

        3. Luchak, Alexander. S/Sergt. born in New York on 26.3.17

                Serv.No.12152606

                Relative: Nadia Luchak, 421 East 9 Street, New York City, N.Y.

                admitted: 10.4.44.

                Diagnosis: severance of the pubis suture. (Lösung der Schambeinfuge)

                Prognosis: operation necessary, complete recovery probable.

        4. Newcomb, R.J. Sergt. born in Prenatt on 28.4.19

                Mother: Agnes Newcomb, 114 Brenatt Ruffels.

                Serv.No.32474839

                admitted: 20.12.43.

                Diagnosis: numerous flesh wounds on both legs, on the right lower arm and the back of the head.

                Prognosis: wounds in process of healing, complete recovery certain.

        5. Stomjany, Josef. Sec.Lt. born in ? on 5.11.18

                Serv.No.0688723

                Relatives not given. Declaration refused.

                admitted: 7.3.44.

                Diagnosis: fracture of left ankle, flesh wound on right lower leg and right hand.

                Prognosis: complete recovery certain.

        6. Tantasio-Yantosca, Eduard. Sergt. born in Boston on 14.1.23.

                Serv.No.11086973

                Mother: Boston, Hagettowstr.

                admitted: 26.11.43.

                Diagnosis: severance of the pubis suture. (Lösung der Schambeinfuge)

                Prognosis: patient was operated on, best possible astringent obtained. Recovery probable.

        7. Spross, James G. Sergt. born in East Colombia on 21.8.21.

                Serv.No.33333696

                Mother: Margritt Sprose, 11116 East Colombia, Philadelphia.

                admitted: 20.12.43.

                Diagnosis: fracture of lower left leg, numerous flesh wounds on the face.

                Prognosis: complete recovery certain.

        8. Winn, Charles. S/Sergt. born in Colorado on 10.3.23.

                Serv.No.17097738

                Father: Charles Winn, Colorado, Road 1, Barks 184 a.

                admitted: 10.4.44

                Diagnosis: 1st grade burns on face, fracture of right ankle.

                Prognosis: complete recovery probable.

        9. Brown, Harald, A. Sergt. born in Custerlitz on 19.9.14

                Serv.No.37492777

                Mother: Gladys M. Brown, Ottawa, Canada 912

                admitted: 20.12.43.

                Diagnosis: splintery fracture of right fibula with extensive wound in right calf.

                Prognosis: wound now closed after length suppuration, protective bandage. Patient already up, complete recovery probable.

 

(Signed)

Walter BRAUN.

Berlin, May 1st 1944.

 

 

STALAG LUFT 4.

LIST OF AMERICANS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED.

 

MUSIAL, Joseph, J., T/Sgt., POW No. 2321, born May 22nd, 1918, army serial No. 13025549, place of birth: Plymouth, Penn, home address: Laurence Harbor N.J. 484 Brookside Avenue. Diagnosis: Amputation middle third left leg.

 

STRAYHORN, William D.*, Sgt. POW No. 53136, born March 13th, 1921, army serial No. 20447605, place of birth: Wilmington, Nth. Carolina 21 G. Nesbettet., home address: same. Diagnosis: Amputation middle third left arm.

 

WEBB, Lloyd E., S/Sgt. POW No. 1142, born December 23rd, 1921, army serial No. 14084261, place of birth: Dover, Fla., home address: Tampa, Fla. 3216 Caracas Ave. Diagnosis: Frost-bite, severe, all fingers right hand to metacarpa-phalangeal with gangrene. No function, not healed.

 

GILSTRAP, Raymond M.*, S/Sgt. POW No. 39987, born May 9th, 1924, army serial No. 17122344, place of birth: Seneca, Missouri, home address: same. Diagnosis: Amputation middle third left arm.

 

GARRISON, Donald B.*, S/Sgt. POW No. 43169, born April 13th, 1923, army serial No. 16074721, place of birth: Eldorado, Ill. 29, Wise St., home address: same. Diagnosis: Amputation middle third right thigh.

 

THYS, Wilbur S.*, S/Sgt., POW No. 43389, born July 18th, 1918, army serial No. 38183180, place of birth: Carnegie, Okla., home address: Fairview, Okla. 517 N. 6th St. Diagnosis: Amputation left leg middle third.

 

HAGAN, John P.*(25), Staff/Sgt., POW No. 43157, born December 2nd, 1919, army serial No. 19053519, place of birth: Oakland, Calif., home address: 1440 Olay St. San Francisco, Calif. Diagnosis: Amputation middle third left leg.

 

DUMAS, Thomas H.(22), Staff/Sgt., POW No. 1504, born October 22nd, 1922, army serial No. 16087852, place of birth: Leona, Wisc., home address: Route I, Escanaba, Mich. Diagnosis: Fracture of vertebra with paralysis (paraplegia).

 

AITKEN, James P.(21), Tech/Sgt., POW No. 53105, born July 25th, 1923, army serial No. 17059503, place of birth: Plattsburg, MO., home address: same. Diagnosis: Amputation middle third right leg.

 

KUHLM[?]N, Victor R.* (28), Staff/Sgt., POW No. 43119, born August 22nd, 1916, army serial No. 37257843, place of birth: Auborn, Neb., home address: Byron, Neb. Diagnosis: Fracture head right humerus, Head humerus removed.

 

PFANNERECLER, Otto H.* (29) Tech/Sgt., POW No. 43299, born May 13th, 1915, army serial No. 37134567, place of birth: St. Louis, MO., home address: St. Louis, 4517 N. Second. Diagnosis: Common fracture left femur with shortening.

 

MATTSON, Roy F.* (28), Tech/Sgt., POW No. 43171, born January 14th, 1916, army serial number 6552127, place of birth: Purdum, Neb., home address: Hooker St., Denver, Col. Diagnosis: Amputation left arm.

 

THORNBERG, Will. A., Sgt., POW No. 2272, born February 7th, 1922, army serial No. 32752024, place of birth: Pittsburg, Pa., home address: Seaford, Del. 503 High St. Diagnosis: Ostoomyclitis right wrist, still draining. Ankylosed in partial flexion.

 

* These men were seen and approved by the Mixed Medial Comm.

 

LIST OF BRITISH PRISONERS SERIOUSLY WOUNDED.

 

THAMES, James S. (R.C.A.F.), F/Sgt., no POW No. yet, born December 21st, 1920, army serial No. 155727, place of birth London, home address Buffalo Gap. Saskatchewan, Can. Diagnosis: Frost-bite, surg. amputation, 1st and 2nd toes right, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th toes left.

 

SHARP, Geo. W., (R.C.A.F.), W.O.2nd class, POW No. 53100, born June 14th, 1921, army serial No. R. 135683, place of birth Ottawa, Can., home address Ottawa, Ontario, 13, Charles Street. Diagnosis: S.W. left shoulder perforating, comp. fracture scapula. clavicle, paralysis abduction, some ankylosis.