Sunday, September 22, 2013

TIME MACHINE ... 1944-45, 1892, 1895, 1919

(Reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archives material) 

March, 1944
(The Salisbury Times)



Men Would Be Housed In Army Camps; Kiwanis To Endorse Plan

Members of the Salisbury Kiwanis Club last night expressed their intentions of endorsing plans for locating German prisoners of war at two Eastern Shore points for use as farm laborers during the approaching planting and harvest seasons.

In taking the action the club planned to endorse the relocation program that may bring at least 700 German prisoners into Worcester and Somerset counties only if public sentiment is favorable.

Officials tentatively are contemplating the use of Camp Decatur near Berlin and Camp Somerset near Westover as prisoner-of-war camps where the Germans would be quartered.

They would be isolated and under the supervision of the Army.

Only model German captives would be brought into this area and there would be one guard for each five prisoners.

Details of from five to 100 prisoners could be contracted for by farmers through the government. The prisoners would be paid according to international standards of pay for prisoners of war.

Farmers could provide transportation for the prisoners at their expense or contract with the government for transportation costs. An interpreter, possibly a non-commissioned officer, would accompany each work detail.

August, 1944
(The Salisbury Times)

Sgt. Hans Flunkert, 23, Nazi war prisoner quartered at Camp Somerset, Westover, who escaped from a labor detail at Denton was recaptured Tuesday afternoon about 28 hours after he flew from the Nuttle Lumber And Coal Co. yard in Denton. He was taken into custody by Trooper J.B. Allen, Delaware State Policeman, when the prisoner approached a filling station at Greenwood, Del.

June, 1945
(The Evening Herald- Hagerstown, Md.)


Colonel Refutes Charge that Prisoners Get Insufficient Food

Camp Somerset, Westover, Md., June 22 (AP)- A top army official denied today charges that German prisoners of war working on farms in the Snow Hill area were receiving insufficient food and "are being systematically starved to death."

Colonel Eugene J. Fitzgerald, commanding officer of Camp Somerset, base prisoner of war camp for the Eastern Shore, said in a prepared statement that "at Berlin (a branch camp), the day's meals now average 5,400 calories and other adjustments may be made."

He compared this to 2,500 to 3,700 calories established by War Department directive for prisoners. 

The charges were raised by two members of the editorial staff of the Democratic Messenger, Snow Hill weekly newspaper, who announced earlier today that they had wired protests to Maryland congressmen in which they stated that "certain prisoners of war, working from the Berlin POW camp are being systematically starved to death."

Footnote: According to a 2007 posting on the "Delmar Dustpan" blog site, Camp Somerset at Westover started as a Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp in 1935. It became an Army post during World War II with nearly a thousand soldiers stationed there before the operation was moved to Camp Pendleton, Va., in 1944. With the purpose of filling a labor shortage on the Eastern Shore, Camp Somerset became a German POW camp housing some 1,000 prisoners and 150 guards. In 1946 the prisoners were sent to England and presumably were returned to Germany. Camp Somerset then became a migrant labor camp. 

March, 1892 

(Peninsula Enterprise- Accomac Court House, Va.)

The Parksley Free Library will open Saturday, March 26th, with 500 volumes. Cards will be given and books distributed from 3 to 4 and 8 to 10 p. m. In the evening the ladies have arranged for a social gathering, having on sale, for the benefit of the library, cake and hot coffee at reasonable prices. A cordial invitation is extended to all the people of the county to come and bring their friends.

(Excerpts from a later article)

There was not even "standing room for one more." Miss Chadbourne made the presentation address, in her usual happy style, outlining the progress of the work of collecting the Library and making an eloquent plea for its liberal use and support. Miss Willie Wright in well chosen words gracefully accepted the gift in behalf of the trustees. Vocal and instrumental selections were rendered by a number of the school children. The firework's display, the most elaborate ever seen in this section, was furnished by the National Firework's Company of Boston, and consisted of a liberal assortment of rockets, bombs, fountains, batteries, maroons, colored fires, etc., concluding with a set piece, "Parksley Library 1892," which was manufactured especially for this occasion. 

January, 1895
(The Frederick News)

Owing to an epidemic which carried off a large number of horses and mules in Pocomoke City last fall, there is an unusual demand for stock of this sort at the present time.  

July, 1919
(The Washington Post)

(Country Properties For Sale)

On the Eastern Shore of Maryland

Containing 23 acres, close to rail and water transportation; large lawn extending to the water edge. Colonial house recently put in first class condition; contains 14 rooms, 3 baths, toilet; hot-water heat; large porch, extended view of water; servants' quarters; garage for 3 cars, stable, boat house; unusual water supply. Personal property included. Price, $23,000.  

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two, or more if you wish. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many German POWs from Camp Somerset were put to work loading cases of tomatoes on rail cars at Mason Canning Company in Pocomoke. Mason also employed many young local girls on the peeling line. Of course, being World War II, most of the local men were gone to war and the local girls were lonely. My father told me many stories about how, on lunch break, the girls would climb into the rail cars for a little fun with the prisoners. He also said that after the war many of the prisoners refused to leave voluntarily and had to be forced to return to Germany.

Your friend,