Sunday, February 15, 2009

Red Cross Parcels for the POWs

George Bruckert is a WWII reenactor who joined the "Kriegie Kids" on the march last month. George has interviewed many former POWs, and one of his friends, Lt. Jay Coberly, shared some information recently on the Red Cross parcels that came to the SLIII POWs. Read on for George's information from his interview with Jay...

Lt. Jay Coberly was a B-17 bombardier with the 94th Bomb Group, based at Bury St. Edmunds, England. He was shot down on October 14th, 1943, and was a prisoner in South Compound.

"Once a month they would give us one quarter of a Red Cross parcel. The soup was made out of cull potatoes the German GIs did not want. The bread was not as old as the kind we had to eat in the box car but certainly was not any where near fresh. The Red Cross parcels were piled high outside the main fence where we could see them, with more coming in each day, but they would only give us the quarter parcel."

Note: One full Red Cross parcel was a box about 3" deep and 12" square and contained the minimum amount of food required to sustain a man for one week at approximately 1700 calories per day. In an American box were small portions of spam, corned beef, powdered eggs, jelly or jam, powdered milk, soda crackers, dried raisins or prunes, powdered coffee, cigarettes, sugar, a chocolate "D" bar, salt and pepper. They also sometimes had tinned Salmon or Herring.

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