Entries tagged as 'Arizona'

Article: Details of the Papago Park escape (AZ)

Link to Article: Details of the Papago Park escape (AZ)

The November 2007 issue of World War II Magazine featured the Christmas Eve escape of 25 German POWs from a camp in Arizona during WWII.

According to the article:

Nearly 400,000 German POWs were brought to the United States during World War II, and officials recorded precisely 2,222 individual attempts by the Germans to flee their camps...

But none of these assorted breakouts could match in audacity, scale, or drama the plan under way at Compound 1A at Papago Park. It would trigger the largest manhunt in Arizona history, bringing in local law enforcement, the FBI, and even Papago Indian scouts.

Their "not so great escape" title seems unfair, but here's a taste of what the author may have had in mind:

While he was still on that call, another phone rang. It was the sheriff in Phoenix reporting he had an escaped POW in custody. Herbert Fuchs, a twenty-two-year-old U-boat crewman, had quickly grown tired of being wet, cold, and hungry and hitchhiked a ride to the sheriff's office. Soon thereafter, a Tempe woman called to say that two escapees had knocked on her door and surrendered; the phone rang again, and a Tempe man reported that two hungry and cold POWs had turned themselves in to him.

It took over a month to re-capture all of the escaped POWs, but all were eventually returned to camp.

Author: Ronald H. Bailey
Publication: World War II Magazine
Length: 3,959 words
Date: November 2007

Related Posts:
   1. A Play: Flight from Phoenix (Papago Park) (Apr 20, 2010)
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A Play: Flight from Phoenix (Papago Park)

Link to A Play: Flight from Phoenix (Papago Park)

In 2001, The Phoenix New Times covered the release of a play called Escape from Papago Park.

The play retells the story of "the greatest breakout from a United States compound by prisoners of war during World War II."

During WWII, Papago Park in Phoenix, AZ housed 3,100 German POWs. Just before Christmas in 1944, 25 German soldiers escaped through a 178 foot tunnel. All were later recaptured.

One of those POWs, Heinrich Palmer said:

People think we were anxious to leave, some great group of prisoners storming back to the battlefront. But we were just young and bored. Or maybe it was this: The Americans put a bunch of German comrades from the same navy in the same compound. These men had great engineering talent. The Americans took away their freedom, called them troublemakers and told them they could never escape. So maybe it became our duty to prove them wrong. And it was very, very easy to prove them wrong.

Check out the photo gallery that goes with the article.

Subtitle: In 1944, 25 German POWs tunneled out of the Papago Park internment camp. Now, a Valley playwright has excavated their adventure.
Author: Robrt L. Pela
Publication: Phoenix New Times
Section: News
Length: 4,546 words
Date: March 8, 2001

Related Posts:
   1. Article: Details of the Papago Park escape (AZ) (Apr 21, 2010)
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