2 boxes (.5 cu.ft.)
About Ormond A. Roberts:
Ormond Armstrong Roberts was born on June 14, 1913 in Dover, New Hampshire, the son of Joseph C. and Mary L. (née Armstrong). He attended Dover High School and then the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 1937. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 1942 and saw service in North Africa. He was a First Lieutenant in the 168th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division when he was captured in February 1943 at the battle of Sidi Bou Zid in Tunisia and taken via Naples and the Brenner Pass, initially to a British grand blessé camp for a while and eventually by train to Oflag 64 prisoner-of-war camp in Schubin, Poland. He spent 27 months as a P.O.W. In August 1943, Roberts took charge of the cobbler shop. The camp was evacuated in January 1945 and the inmates marched to Southern Germany. Roberts was liberated on May 9, 1945 in GAZ Bavaria International Hospital Zone. Ormond Roberts died in 2005.
P.O.W. Oflag 64 was located in Schubin, Poland (the German name for the town was Altburgund). A small camp of roughly 10 acres, it was designated as the location for all American Army Ground Force officer prisoners captured in Africa and Italy, and later France. Most of them were young lieutenants and captains; the average age of the camp prisoners was 27. Most were college-educated, many with advanced degrees. In civilian life they had been doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors, journalists, artists, ranchers, musicians, and one of them had even been a former commandant of a U.S. military school. In June 1943 when it was first opened the camp had only 150 American prisoners, but this number rose to 1500 by the time it was evacuated in January 1945.
About the Ormond A. Roberts P.O.W. materials:
The collection consists of correspondence, four notebook diaries kept by Roberts during his imprisonment, three publications concerning Oflag 64: an oral history account by General John K. Waters of his experience in the camp (1980); Roads to Liberation from Oflag 64 by Clarence R. Meltesen (1987) and Oflag 64: The Fiftieth Anniversary Book (1993), material from the annual reunions of Oflag 64 inmates, and a collection of artefacts.
Of special interest are two letters. One is dated June 11, 1945 and is written by Col. Thomas Drake, Commanding Officer of the 168th Inf. Regt. and in it he recommends Roberts for the award of the Bronze Star Medal for his “unselfish devotion to the comfort of his unfortunate comrades” in repairing hundreds of shoes while at the camp. Apparently, according to a note appended later by Roberts, no action was taken on this recommendation.
The other, dated January 3, 1946, from Karl Herbert, a former guard at Oflag 64, inquires whether Roberts made it home okay. “I like to remember especially our last march, and you may be sure I felt always happy to have a helping hand for you and your comrades. I believe I have done everything I could to make your and your comrades’ life more tolerable in camp. Therefore I do not want to forget, ever in my life, this comradeship which fate has forged.”
|f.2||Two notebooks, 1942 and 1943|
|f.3||Ormond Roberts notebook kept in camp, and 1944 diary|
|f.4||Oflag 64 reunion programs, etc.|
|f.5||Printed articles about P.O.W.s|