In the spring of 1945 the Russian
Red Army was
heading for Berlin, and this meant that
prisoners from POW camps and
camps also headed west fleeing from the Russians - nothing worse could be
imagined. Finally Lester Schrenk and other POWs on
their sore feet (see The
March) had reached
so far west that on 3 May 1945 they were liberated by the
British Eighth Army
(Lester Schrenk wrote
MY POW EXPERIENCE *
THE EVACUATION OF STALAG LUFT VI
POEMS BY LESTER SCHRENK.)
Lester Schrenk travelled by ship back to the USA
and set foot on American soil in
Norfolk, Virginia, on 20 July 1945. It was a
pleasant surprise to his family who during the war had
been informed that he had
been shot down over Denmark and that it was unknown what
had happened to him.
Against his will he was dismissed from the
States Army Air Force on 19 October
1945. He never got the promotion that was
planned for the day after he was shot down,
as on that day he was "separated
from his unit" - a truth to be challenged as he was with
8 of 9 mates from his
plane and the 9th man was dead.
Lester Schrenk did not return to farming. Instead
he went into trade and for many years
he was the warehouse manager of a very
large grocery chain called National Foods.
He retired in 1982 and did craft
sales making articles in his basement workshop and
selling them at public
gatherings. He is still doing that he stated in an email from the USA.
In connection with the preparations for the
current series by TV/Midt-Vest about Karup Air Base, then
Lester Schrenk met the German pilot stationed in Karup
Hans Hermann Müller who
shot down his plane. They met in Heidelberg in April 2012.
From the USA Lester Schrenk brought his carvings of a pair of eagles from his
in Bloomington as a present for Hans Hermann Müller.