Stalag Luft III - One Man's Story

Stalag Luft III - One Man's Story told by World War II prisoner of war U.S. Army 8th Air Force Lt. Charles Woehrle, one of many PoWs crowded into Stalag Luft III barracks that would later be made famous by the iconic film "The Great Escape." Woehrle was shot down May 29th, 1943. His parachute malfunctioned when he bailed from his crippled B17, the "Concho Clipper," yet miraculously he survived. At age 94 this remarkable man and gifted storyteller takes us back with vivid detail as he relives his experiences that include: his rescue by a French fisherman, capture by the Nazis, eating bread crumbs to survive, the 70 mile "Forced March” in below zero, and being liberated by General Patton after two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship. Woehrle, now age 97, is the oldest living American PoW from Stalag Luft 3. He shares his personal story - filled with grit and grace of how he survived physically and psychologically. A man who still lives his life in service to others, Charles Woehrle, one of thousands of heroes from the Greatest Generation, has much to teach us about war and about life.

FROM THE FILMMAKEROur Greatest Generation is dying and with them, their stories. I have wanted to tell this story about my Uncle Charles for many years because it is compelling living history, but more importantly because he is a remarkable man and gifted storyteller. My uncle is the oldest living American Stalag Luft III PoW (now age 97) We have been shooting since October 2009 when we filmed the interviews with my Uncle (2 - Red One cameras). Since then we have covered a lot of ground shooting b-roll (HD), other interviews, finding archival footage, gathering archival elements, shooting reenactment imagery (3 camera - 5D), and of course my ongoing challenge of finding the funding to continue through the editing/sound design/music process. I have been fortunate to have an unbelievable committed team and the financial support of private funders adn 3M Corporation who believe in this project and realize its value. It is their financial support and the generous in-kind donations from our historical organizations (EAA, Camp Ripley Museum, The Bong Center, 8th Air Force, Stalag Luft III) and film communites that have gotten the production this far and for whom I have the deepest gratitude. 



We still need finishing funds! Anyone interested in making a donation - THANK YOU. There are a couple of ways to donate and receive a tax donation receipt. IFP Minnesota is a 501(c)3 and our fiscal sponsor. Checks can be made payable to IFP MN with the name of our project written on the subject line. You may also donate through the "donate" button below. You do not need to be a PayPal member to donate by credit/debit card. Below is the mailing address.

IFP MN Center for Media Arts
Fiscal Sponsor Administrator
2446 University Ave. West, Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55114

PRODUCTION TEAM: DP - Bill Carlson; DP-Greg Winter; DP-Greg Stiever; DP-Chip Johnson; AC - TJ Schwingle; AC/Sound - Brian Garnell; Sound-Andrew Melby; Sound-Ben Allison; Cameraman-Victor Rukivina; Lead Historian - Doug Bekke; Historian - Charlie Paulter; Historian - Doug Thompson; Historian -Val Burgess; Historian - Marilyn Walton; Writer, Director, Producer - Louise Woehrle

POST PRODUCTION TEAM: Editor - Jim Stanger & Channel Z, Chip Johnson

LINKS TO MEDIA: Telegraph  (London, Nov. 2, 2013)

New York Times  

Hodinkee (watch blog) - rough footage for the documentary: untreated without music or sound effects; additional various elements for the film including NBC Today Show excerpt. We are in post production phase.

Thank you for your time in reading this!  ~ Louise Woehrle

Official Site

Associated members

Lead artist: Louise Woehrle
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