Discussion in '12th BG' started by Mike Woodworth, Feb 20, 2016.
Irving Biers article
Hello my name is Mike Finnegan son of Francis Finnegan Stalg luft III prisoner who was shot down in a Mitchell on 10/22/42. He had a long stay in the camp and came home attending Harvard Law school and ultimately working as a banking executive in Augusta Maine. As a child I remember the Pow camp stories. We once were in possession of an Italian newspaper article showing his plane shot down with a long article. We can't find it but we have the yearbook that was issued from the camp. I do recall that he remembered Nichols Katzenback being at the camp. Katzenbach ended up as LBJ 's chief legal counsel and principal enforcer of the Civil Rights act. His son John Katzenback wrote a novel called Harts War which was the made into a feature film. The movie's theme was based in Civil Rights issues in the Pow camps in WW11. I don't have any serial number info nor was I ever able to find a record of his crash in the Army Air Corp records.
Hi my name is Michael Finnegan son of Francis Finnegan who was shot down reported on 10/22/42 the same date of Clearys shoot down. Chances are they flew in the same squardron because of the similar dates. We had a copy of an article from an Italian newspaper showing his plane crashed in the desert. We do have the yearbook issued from Stalag Luft III. If you learn any more about Cleary please let me know. My dad was a wonderful man. He attended Harvard Law school and became a prominent Banker in the state of Maine. I am one of 7 children and live on the coast of Maine
His plane was a B24 Mitchell.
Also have you learned anymore about Oberg. My dad was a second lieutenant and pilot of the plane. I recollect that his two crew members bailed out and he belly landed the plane into the desert. I don't recall him connecting with the crew members but he did attend a squardron reunion in the late seventies or early eighties at the Air Force academy in Colorado. Please keep me posted if you learn more. Thanks
Your father is mentioned in my book with POW son, Mike Eberhardt, "From Interrogation to Liberation":
"Only a few kriegies in the compound knew where the radio was and when or how the news was received. 2nd Lt. Hal Decker knew how to get the best reception from the BBC in London, and he was skilled in shorthand. Many nights he’d listen through a headset in the small hours of the morning and take notes by the shaded light of candles or fat lamps. Sometimes there was a coded message directed to the kriegies. 2nd Lt. Francis Finnegan helped him with the decoding and organized the men who were capable of doing the job."
He is also in a picture in Gen. A.P. Clark's book, "33 Months as a POW in Stalag Luft III."
Clark’s book: p. 165 photo with Finnegan, Cleary, Oberg and other coders. It is captioned, "Francis Finnegan and his code worikers at SLIII. " Cleary is also in a picture on page 164 with the tunnelers.
I imagine you have seen the sketch of your father done by POW Carl Holmstrom.
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