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May 30, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

World War II: POWs Apprehended in Buckingham County

Buckingham POW Escape_RTD

On June 20, 1945, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported: “POW Escapees Surrender to War Vet.”

Three German prisoners of war who escaped Monday from the Green Hay work project on Route 480, near Farmville, surrendered yesterday morning to a wounded war veteran 24 miles west of Farmville on Route 60 near Sprouse’s Corner, after being trailed through underbrush by bloodhounds.

The prisoners, Johann Nowak, Friedrich Matousek, and Alfred Fruch, surrendered to Private First Class Stuart T. Adams of Red Oak who turned them over to Buckingham County Sheriff Y.G. Johnson.

These prisoners may have been from Camp Pickett near Blackstone or from the White Hall area of Albemarle. In both locales, camps originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) housed German POWs.

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  1. Joanne Yeck / May 30 2013 12:41 pm

    Bea, This is a huge untold story. The prisoners who worked in central Virginia were shipped here and held through the remainder of the war.

    I just watched a documentary about World War II, Italian POWs in the USA, “Prisoners in Paradise.” Highly recommended:

    • Bea / May 30 2013 12:46 pm

      The documentary sounds fascinating. I will try to catch it. The Wikipedia article said that 700,000 POWs held in the US were ultimately sent to France where they were used as field labor for years. Some were used clearing mines. Do you know about the fates of the POWs in Buckingham couny?

  2. Bea / May 30 2013 12:06 pm

    I had not even thought about what happened to the POWs after the end of WWII until I read your article. I was shocked that they weren’t exchanged or released somehow! I looked it up on Wikipedia and it looks like they were kept for years and in pretty bad conditions in countries like France. I look forward to more info on what happened to the ones in Buckingham county.


  1. World War II: German POWs at Green Mountain | slate river ramblings . . . .

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