Carroll County

Pvt. Russell Lathrop



Pvt. Lathrop Returns To Manning; Had Been Prisoner of Germans

Manning (THNS)—Pvt. Russell Lathrop, son of Mrs. Henry Brandhorst, who has been a prisoner of war of the Germans since February, 1943, arrived in Manning last weekend. Mr. and Mrs. Brandhorst and Pvt. Lathrop’s sister, Mrs. Kennard Chaney, and daughter, Carol Sue of Omaha, met him in Omaha.

Pvt. Lathrop was captured with 3,000 in a medical unit of the United States Army at Faid Pass by the Germans. First the group was marched to Tunis where they were kept for about three weeks and then were flown to Sicily where they remained for only a week before they were taken by train to a Camp in Italy for another three weeks. The group was then sent to Germany to Stalag 7-A Moosburg, where it was split into units of about 500. Russell’s group was sent to Stalag 5-13 where he worked in the hospital for nine months.

Two of his buddies were with him this entire time. The camp was only 30 miles from the Swiss border and so many American prisoners were escaping that the group was sent to the Black Forest to a hospital at Rottenmunster. The Black Forest region was the playground of the wealthy in former days. There were no American doctors in the hospital, only three Americans in the entire personnel. The greater share of the doctors were English; there were others from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Lathrop told many interesting stories about the work in the hospital. He stated that the best way to get information was from the news releases because these stories are true. He was very fortunate to be in a hospital and to be doing work that was necessary. He says that it kept his mind and hands busy and he did not have a great deal of time to worry.

The area in which he was held captive was freed by the Free French April 25 and they were able to leave April 30. The entire group was treated to a good feed. He said he believed that nothing could be much worse than to be really hungry.

Lathrop spent nine months in the hospital at Villigen and a year and five months at Rottenmunster.

He is home on a 60-day furlough and then will report to a rest camp at Hot Springs, for 90 days after which he will report for reassignment or perhaps a discharge from service. Russell was assigned to the ship for his return to the United States on which Amos Misselhorn, S. 1/c of Manning was a member of the crew.

Source: Carroll Times Herald, May 31, 1945