Lake Hauto vet receives a page from the past
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Charles Sincavage of Lake Hauto looks over information about the German prisoner of war camp Stalag XIII-C, where he was a POW during WW II. It was sent to him by the daughter of another POW at the same camp.
Kathy Hemard of Kansas read a TIMES NEWS article online about Charles Sincavage, 92, of Lake Hauto and his experiences as a POW in Germany.
Sincavage was in the United States Army, participated in the Invasion of Normandy, France, landing at Utah Beach on June 6, 1944. On Christmas Eve, 1944, Sincavage and seven others were captured.
He was sent to the German prisoner of war camp, Stalag XIII-C. As the war neared an end, Stalag XIII-C was a very grim place. The Germans were running out of food and fuel and the prisoners were a low priority.
Sincavage survived that personal horror to go on to build a successful life, marry his sweetheart and raise a family.
Kathy's father was with the 42nd Rainbow Division and also landed on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944. He was also later captured and sent to Stalag XIII-C. He kept the Duty Roster for around 200 men in Room 11-13.
She was working on trying to locate the divisions that the men listed on those rosters belonged to. When she came to the name of Charles Sincavage, she looked him up on the Internet and the TIMES NEWS story popped up and she contacted the writer of the article.
She wondered if Sincavage would like to see pictures of the Duty Roster and some items her father brought home with him after the prison camp was abandoned by the Germans. She still has a pack of her dad's Camel cigarettes ("Good for smoking and for trading") and a Rown Tree tin that was part of a British POW food parcel.
"The British Red Cross told me that the tin contained cocoa," she says.
She sent a CD with those pictures and a portion of a book titled "Hold At All Cost: 42 Rainbow Division Prisoners of War," a collection of narrative personal accounts by 42nd Rainbow Division prisoners of war during WW II. The CD was given to Sincavage the day before Veterans Day.
"I'm very grateful to Ms. Hemard. I look forward to looking at all of this," Sincavage said when he received it.
Kathy had a simple reason for sending it to Sincavage.
"I am a daughter of a World War II veteran," she said. "I just want to say 'Thank you' to Mr. Sincavage and all the veterans for their service and for sharing their stories. I believe it's important to remember history ... not just the military strategy, but the human side."
She added that she hopes everyone thinks about the sacrifices made by service men and women, past and present.
"'Freedom isn't free' isn't just a catchy phrase. It's true," she said.