I found a true thriller this time!!
My husband’s grandparents were held up at their farm by 5 escaped prisoners from Ft. Leavenworth.
Thankfully, they weren’t hurt.
The Emporia Gazette, Emporia, KS, 10 Apr 1945
Five Disciplinary Prisoners Escape
Flee Ft. Leavenworth In Truck, Garbed In Officers’ Uniforms
Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., April 10 – Five prisoners at the U.S. disciplinary barracks were sought today after overpowering their guard and five fellow prisoners and kidnapping a truck driver in making their escape.
Lt. Col. William Wurgler, public relations officer at Ft. Leavenworth, said the men fled Monday from the post golf club where they had been working. All were dressed in stolen Army officers’ uniforms.
Their trail, Wurgler said, led to a farm house three miles north of Lawrence, where Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Weeks reported they had been tied up in a bedroom of their home and their car, a 1931 model A Ford, stolen.
At Lawrence, Sheriff Rody Skinner said the Weeks car was found abandoned north of Williamstown on highway 59 and that Pete Tenpenny of that locality had reported his 1934 Plymouth coupe was stolen.
Wurgler gave their account:
Guarded by a soldier armed with a carbine, the men were part of a 10-man detail assigned to the golf course.
Between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., the five overpowered their guard and when the five other prisoners attempted to intervene in the guard’s behalf they, too, were overpowered. The fugitives then tried the guard and the other five prisoners together with wire and rope.
One of the prisoners then donned the guard’s uniform and led his four companions up Grand Avenue to the student officers’ quarters, where all slipped into Army officers’ uniforms.
Then they attempted to start a car parked nearby. Jame McCaffery a laundry truck driver, noticed the men were having trouble and when the prisoners saw him looking at them, they rushed him, put him in the back of his truck, bound him with rope and drove off in the laundry truck.
The truck got as far as three miles north of the airport at Lawrence, where engine trouble developed. Taking McCaffery along, they walked to the Weeks home.
Sheriff Skinner said the men arrived about 9 p.m. and remained until 2 a.m. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks were tied up in a bedroom and McCaffery was left bound on a sofa. The two Weeks children, Elizabeth Ann, 4 1/2 years old and David Lyle, 17 months, were not disturbed.
Mrs. Weeks said the men cooked their meal in her kitchen.
When they left they took three of the Weeks’ ration books, a shaving mug, some “A” gasoline coupons and departed in the Weeks’ model A Ford.
After freeing himself McCaffery called his wife and Ft. Leavenworth authorities.
The prisoners were listed as Richard R. Gombert, 28, Pittsburgh, Pa; Donald Hass, 25, Kent, Wash.; Pat L. Hardmen, 22, Thomaston, Ga; Clifford J. Meeks, 20, Atlanta, Ga, and Lewis C. Mathis, 20, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.