4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 20, 2018 10:52 AM by Leslie Mickelson-Carter

    military pow info WWII

    Leslie Mickelson-Carter Newbie

      I would greatly appreciate your assistance in obtaining information regarding my uncle Leslie who died shortly after a Nazi Concentration Camp he was held was liberated in April 1945.   Although, my 91 year old mothers memories of her brother’s death are painful she feels it’s necessary for the family to know as many details as possible especially since nearly all WWII personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire.

       

      At the time, my mother’s parents sheltered her from most of the details provided by the Red Cross following his capture, the U.S. Army’s personal visit to notify of his death and a letter from the chaplain who officiated at Leslie’s interment at Epinal Cemetery.  I’m especially interested as I was named in honor of him and have been in contact with a village women who cares for his grave. At this point we have no idea as to the date he was captured, identification of the concentration camp, nor where he died.

       

      What is known by my mother is that it was reported that her brother only weighed 36 pounds when found and died soon after on April 28, 1945. A letter dated 2 May 1945 from Chaplain Arthur F. Weaver at the:  108th U.S. General Hospital, Headquarters Seine Section, Communication Zone, European Theater of Operations, was primarily a condolence and insured their son and brother was giving a Christian burial. It would seem that the 108th General Hospital would have had information on him and if possible accessing it would fill the gaps.      

       

      Private Leslie R. Chambers- 32606698- Quartermaster Truck Company- US Army- Born: 1923: Died: April 28, 1945

        • Re: military pow info WWII
          Rebecca Collier Navigator

          Dear Leslie Mickelson-Carter,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We search the Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General (Record Group 389) but were unable to locate any prisoner-of-war information for PVT Leslie R. Chambers. We also searched the Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army) (Record Group 153) for any war crimes case files and 108th General Hospital files in the Records of the Office of the Surgeon General (Army) (Record Group 112) but were unable locate information concerning PVT Chambers.

          In addition, we searched the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1905-1981 (Record Group 407) and located State WWII Army & Army Air Force Casualty List for New Jersey that indicated that PVT died from non-battle (DNB) injuries. Another WWII casualty listing indicated that PVT Chambers was placed in a temporary grave at Solero Cemetery in Melun, France before he was reburied at Epinal Cemetery according to the decision of the next-of-kin (NOK).

          Since you know the name of the chaplain, Arthur F. Weaver, who officiated at his reburial, there may be additional information about PVT Chambers in his reports. His report would be part of the series titled Monthly Reports and Personnel Records, 1920-1950. We also suggest that you request a copy of an Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF) and Applications for Headstones, 1/1/1925 - 6/30/1970 for PVT Chambers. These records are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis, ATTN: RL-SL, P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Please contact them regarding access and copies. Their email address is stl.archives@nara.gov.

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

          3 of 3 people found this helpful
            • Re: military pow info WWII
              Leslie Mickelson-Carter Newbie

              Thank you very much.  We knew he was listed as dying from non-battle injuries.  I did not know he was placed in a temporary grave at Solero Cemetery.  Will research the records from the Monthly Reports and request the Personnel Records as well.  I was trying to find out the circumstances of his capture and at what camp he was interred, when he was liberated and how he came to be at the 108th Hospital.  Because of the grave condition of his heath, not sure he would be even able to be transported.  May never know but worth checking further.

               

              Again, thanks for your help.  May still ask further questions!  

               

              It may be helpful for someone else or even the History Hub, so I am attaching a copy of my uncle's last letter home. 

               

              Last letter from Uncle Leslie (somewhere in France) WWIILast Letter from Uncle Leslie (Pg. 2)

                • Re: military pow info WWII
                  Rebecca Collier Navigator

                  Dear Leslie Mickelson-Carter,

                   

                  Thank you for posting your reply with your uncle’s letter on History Hub!

                   

                  PVT Chambers mentioned in his letter that he was driving for the 3804th Quartermaster Truck Company at that time. We searched the World War II Operations Reports, 1940 - 1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1905-1981 (Record Group 407) and locate a history and after action reports of the 3804th. In the history, there is an entry for 15 September 1944 that states that PVT Chambers had been AWOL since Troyes (around 27 August 1944). The use of the term AWOL can indicate many things including not knowing what happened to him. We were unable to find another entry concerning him in the unit records. For a copy of the unit history, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

                   

                  It is possible that some indication of his status might be listed in the unit morning reports. Morning reports for Army units from November 1, 1912 to 1959 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis, ATTN: RL-SL, P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Please contact them regarding access and copies. Their email address is stl.archives@nara.gov.

                   

                  We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

                   

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • Re: military pow info WWII
                      Leslie Mickelson-Carter Newbie

                      Thank you again Rebecca.  I'm glad I posted my Uncle's letter.  I will follow-up with requests to St. Louis.  I did find reviewing the 108th General Hospital that they had set up an Evac Hospital in the field near Schoppenstedt, Germany, on 14 April, 1945 which saw many British and American prisoners of war returned.  Since it is so close to the dates of my uncle dying it is possible that is where he was taken before being returned to France.  I am also looking for a copy of the original letter to my grandparents notifying them of his death and the circumstances as the Chaplain alludes to it but does not restate in his letter. 

                       

                      Thanks again,

                       

                       

                      Leslie