Fort Gordon to pay tribute to WWII era German, Italian POWs
Fort Gordon will remember German and Italian prisoners of war buried on post in a wreath laying ceremony scheduled at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at their grave sites located near Gate 2. Ned Keeler, deputy to the U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon commanding general, is expected to speak and lay a wreath at the German and Italian World War II Soldiers Cemetery. Consul General Chistoph Sanders is also to be a guest speaker and Lt. Col. Frank Beyer, the German liaison officer at Fort Gordon, is expected to speak at the memorial.
It’s been nearly 68 years since War World II ended. In that global war 45 to 60 million people lost their lives. On Fort Gordon, which was known as Camp Gordon at the time, 21 German and one Italian World War II prisoners of war were buried. They died of accidental or natural causes.
These Soldiers were among nearly 500,000 POWs brought to the United States during the war. Georgia and South Carolina were among the first states to receive POWs. The first German POWs in South Carolina came from Camp Gordon in 1943.
The event is open to the public. Individuals not possessing a Department of Defense ID card should allow extra time to obtain a visitor pass at Gate 1. Be sure to bring proof of auto insurance, registration and a valid driver’s license.
German World War II prisoners-of-war buried at Fort Gordon
Cpl. Fredy Gehrmann, age 24, musician, captured in Africa May 9, 1943; died Aug. 8, 1945 in McRae, Ga.
Lance Cpl. Horst Gunther, age 23, locksmith, captured in Tunisia May 9, 1943, died April 6, 1944 at prisoner-of-war camp in Aiken, S.C.
Pvt. Friedrich Hamer, age 44, laborer, captured in Aachen, Germany Oct. 21, 1944; died Aug. 23, 1945 in Twiggs County, Ga.
Sgt. Kurt Hoessle, age 26, gardener, captured in Africa April 23, 1943; died April 30, 1945 at Elm Grove Estate, 17 miles north of Charleston, S.C.
Pfc. Richard Hutcher, age 20, auto mechanic, captured in Tunisia May 10, 1943; died March 6, 1945 at the POW branch camp in Waynesboro, Ga.
Cpl. Ludwig Janson, age 24, farmer, captured in Tunisia May 11, 1943; died Oct 3, 1944 at POW branch camp in Waynesboro, Ga.
Gefr (Pvt.) Erwin Kerz: age 34, chauffeur, captured in Tunisia in 1943; died Oct. 23, 1943 at Camp Gordon POW Camp.
Gefr (Pvt.) Wilhelm Krauss, age 19, farmer; captured in Remiremont, France Sept. 23, 1944; died July 3, 1945 at Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Gefr (Pvt.) Josef Lackner, age 42, driver and helper, captured in France Sept. 24, 1944; died Dec. 2, 1944 at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Sgt. Ernst Link, age 23, farmer, captured in Tunisia May 8, 1943; died Feb. 13, 1944 at Camp Gordon POW camp.
Obergefreiter (Cpl.) Friedrich Maise, age 25, locksmith, captured in Tunisia May 11, 1943; died Aug. 20, 1945 at Florence, S.C.
Ogerfr (Cpl.) Christian Pfeifer, age 22, painter, captured near Florence, Italy July 30, 1944; died July 13, 1945 at Cheraw State Park, S.C.
Cpl. Adolf Reichert, age 23, miller, captured in Tunisia May 9, 1943; died May 9, 1945 at Vidalia, Ga.
Pvt. Wilhelm Riechmann, age 19, butcher, captured in Tunisia May 8, 1943; died July 15, 1944 at Myrtle Beach, S.C. POW camp.
Pfc. Hans Salmhofer, age 23, Austrian citizen, died Nov. 17, 1945 at Camp Gordon POW Camp.
Uffe (Sgt.) Heinrich Schafstall; age 31, lathe hand, captured in Grenoble, France Aug. 24, 1944; died Feb. 17, 1945 at Chatham Field, Ga.
Stab-Gefr (Spc. 4) Karl Schroedersecker, age 27, factory worker, captured at Tivoli, Italy June 6, 1944; died Oct. 4, 1944 at Charleston, S.C.
Sgt. Edmund Schwalbenberg, age 23, auto mechanic, captured at Viersen/Rhld March 1, 1945; died May 21, 1945 at Camp Wheeler, Ga.
Medical Cpl. Herman Walter: age 43, compositor, captured in Southern France Sept. 9, 1944; died May 7, 1945 at Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Oberstabsarst (Maj.) Karl Heinz Werner, age 33, physician, captured in Tunisia May 9, 1942; died Feb. 4, 1946 at POW camp in Whitmire, S.C.
Gefr (Pvt.) Alfred Heinrich Zeller, age 19, chemical worker, captured in Brest, France Sept. 7, 1944; died Nov. 12, 1944 at Camp Gordon POW camp.
Italian World War II prisoner of war interred at Fort Gordon
Antonio Zadel, age 36, member of a construction battalion, died June 7, 1944.