"One night my boss went out the back door for a few minutes. And he was gone. And we had a young man from McCool that was working there and I was working there. And a man came in, real odd-looking person, and he sat down at the bar. And so I said, 'What can I do for you?'
   "And he pointed at the beer.
   "So I said, 'Do you want a beer?'
   "He pointed again.
   "I gave him the beer, and then he wanted – pointed at the candy bars and hamburgers, and so forth. And I knew it was something unusual. It was an escaped German prisoner from Fort Randall [actually Fort Robinson] out west. And he couldn't speak English. He just would grunt and point to what he wanted. I gave him everything he wanted. Never asked him for any money. But I was praying that my boss would come back in that back door because it scared me. And this man was dressed so differently. I knew he had to be a German. I know enough German to know that he was German.
   "So, pretty soon my boss came in and I said, 'There's an awful funny man out there.' I went to the back room. So, he went out and tried to talk to him. He couldn't. So, we got a man in town who spoke fluent German. He came down. And he told us that he [the strange man] had escaped from Fort [Robinson] out there, and that he had come across country. People had helped him, fed him all the way, and so forth. He was very fluent in German, of course, telling him all this. And they took him back and that was it.
   "So a few years ago, I got a letter from the state saying – Or, there was an article in the paper about someone escaping from Fort [Robinson], but they never knew what happened. So, I wrote and told them what happened. Finally, after all those years, they knew that he had been – He very willingly went back. He probably had better treatment there than he did anywhere else."

Freddie Oglesby – Escaped POW


Other Excerpts from Freddie Oglesby’s Interview:

An Unsure Draftee
Housing Shortages
Women Working during World War II