Sgt Charles W. Doerring
Sgt Charles Doerring Out of Prison Camp Homeward Bound
Mr. and Mrs. Ed A. Doerring of Luana, Iowa received a cablegram Saturday from their son, Sergeant Charles W. Doerring, a prisoner of war held by the Germans since April 2, 1944 reading: "I am on my way home. Will let you know as soon as I arrive in the States. Love, Charles." It was the first word they had received from their son since before the war in Europe ended and relieved them of anxiety for his safety.
Sgt. Doerring was reported missing in action over Italy, presumably on a flight on April 2, 1944. He was acting as a bombardier on his plane, his regular position being that of a nose gunner. However, on several flights he took over the tall gunner's position when the regular man in that position suffered frozen fingers. It was on one of these latter flights that he was shot down behind enemy lines and taken to Germany as a prisoner of war.
Charles had been in the service since July 24, 1942 and was sent overseas in February, 1944. He received his training at a number of air fields in southwestern states and finally finished up at Charleston, South Carolina from where he went to the Italian front. On one of his missions, of which he wrote at that time, he shot an enemy plane.
Sgt Charles Doerring Saw Nazi Atrocities After His Liberation
Refugees Shot in Tracks if too Weak to Walk From Internment Camp
Sergeant Charles Doerring, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Doerring of Luana, Iowa was a Herald caller last Friday. He had arrived home the week before after being liberated from a German prisoner of war camp in Austria. "The Russians freed us from the camp where Sgt. Ivon Schultz and I were being confined after we were taken prisoners. On the march we met Jewish men, women, and children marching toward the east. They had been released from concentration camps and I never want to see a sight like that again," he told us.These people he told us, had been starved and beaten by their captors and along the roadside they saw many bodies of people who were too weak to continue the march and who had been shot to death when they faltered out of line. "Sergeant Gass gave you a good account of what we endured and what we had on our menu," he said. "LeRoy's description of his camp fit our own fully."
Praising the work of the Red Cross whose weekly packages of foodstuffs kept them alive, Sgt. Doerring told how that organization was right on the job to look after the well-being of the American soldiers in the prison camps.
Stationed in Italy with a bomber group, Sgt. Doerring was shot down over German territory. He and all of his crew members parachuted to safety but were captured and taken to the camp in Austria.
We asked him what he wanted most to eat after his liberation. "Mom's cooking", he replied. Sgt. Doerring has been given a 60 day furlough at home. He doesn't have but 77 points, so he has been ordered to Miami, Florida, when his leave expires, for rest and assignment. Where this will take him, he doesn't know. At the moment he really doesn't care -- he's that glad to be back home.
~Postville Herald, ca May or June 1945 - the photo appeared with the articles
~Contributor: Connie Ellis (Not related)
~Contributor's note: Charles Doerring's parents were Ed A. and Irene (Brandtman) Doerring. His sister was LaNida (Doerring) Sebastian and he had two brothers Eugene Doerring and Robert Doerring. Charles died in 1947. Obituary
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