Private Jack S. Haynes, 1st Scout

Co. L, 329th Infantry Regiment, 83rd US Infantry Division

Haynes was a 21 year old farmer from Woodsfield, Ohio.

I was out on Hill 249 near the river at Echternach with my squad on 14 October 1944 when our communications broke down. That night I went back with another mand to find the break. We did so, but ran into a patrol of 12 Germans operating behind our lines. We were surprised and captured. The civilians around there seem to be pro-German and I think they had given our positions to the enemy.

The Germans took our dogtags and asked us a few questions. There did not seem to be anyone in the group who spoke English. They took us with them under guard to a village apparently about 5 miles away, friendly to the Germans. We were fed reguarly and treated wwell, but were kept under guard at all times, and we were never allowed to go out of the house, where we were kept in a basement room. This village was still behind our lines I think. It may have been Eischweiler, on the road to the city of Luxemburg.

We were moved several times afther that to other villages. Some times the Germans who had captured us were joined by other Germans in civilian clothes. We decided they must be saboteurs operating behind our lines.


On 27 October one of het manc came and gave us civilian cloths and said we must put them on. Sgt. Jack M. Schroeder who was the other man captured with me, refused at first, but we finally put on jackets and caps. We were then put in a big brown car with F.F.I. Painted on it and headed south.

We drove a long distance, mostly at night, during the next two days. We stopped in woods once to eat food we had brought with us (German army rations) and later several times in towns where the three men with us appeared to have friends. They all spoke French and had no trouble with anybody on the trip. We had no opportunity to contact any Americans.

On the night of the 29th we had reached the town of Montargis. We recognized it because we had come through it earlier in the summer. The Germans had been drinking heavily. Two of them got out and went into a tavern, leaving us alone with the guard, who sat in the front seat. I saw a heavy metal wrench on the floor, picked it up and conked him in the head. He slumped forward and we opened the door of the sedan and jumped out.

We checked in the Civil Affairs office in Montargis. They did not believe our story at first and sent for the CIC (counter intelligence). They sent us on next day to Le Mans where we wee interviewed by a Major, who sent us to the 14th Replacement Depo.

I have no idea why the Germans took us south with them. They may have been heading for Spain, to try to get away from it all. The driver (the man I hit) spoke French and wore a black leather jacket. He looked like a Frenchman. I did not notice anything special in the way of distinguishing marks on him or on any of the other Germans.

Jack was born on September 2, 1923 in Woodsfield, Monroe County, OH, USA. He died on August 2, 2007 in Canton, Stark County, OH, USA and is buried next to his wife in North Caonton, Stark County, OH, US.
Source: Escape and Evasion report 2835.

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