Stalag Luft III – One Man’s Story told by World War II prisoner of war U.S. Army Air Force Bombardier Lt. Charles Woehrle, one of 10,000 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 below zero 70 mile “Forced March,” and being liberated by General Patton after two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship. Woehrle at age 98 was the oldest living PoW from Stalag Luft III. He shares his personal story – filled with grit and grace of how he survived physically and psychologically. A man who lived 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.

I’m very pleased that within the feature we have shot and edited three reenactment sequences: The 70-mile forced march in below zero weather, inside the B-17, bailing out of the plane, and on the home front in 1943. One of the stories within the feature documentary is about a watch and created for Patek Philippe in Geneva Switzerland. My uncle and the “watch story” have been featured on the NBC Today Show, TFI – France, Patek Philippe Magazine, the New York Times, London Telegraph, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Hodinkee watch blog. All the media exposure we have received sure helps!  We have an audience waiting to see our film!

I hope to have this film finished by fall 2015.  Remaining budget ideally needed to complete the film is $20,000, but we would be grateful for anything to keep the wind in our sails! We are in the final editing and finishing phase of the project.  I’m thrilled to say that the SFX already created for the shot down sequence really adds to the production value and takes us into that very dramatic, near death experience, as told by my Uncle Charles.

I would not be where I am with this project if it were not for all the generous contributions – financial and in-kind, including the dedication of my amazing production/post production team: Bill Carlson (DP), Greg Winter (DP), Chip Johnson (DP/editor), Alex Fournier (SFX/editor/camera), Victor Rukavina (editor/camera) and Channel Z. My Uncle Charles preferred calling financial donations to the project, “investments.” So, with a little more investment, our film will be finished by the end of summer or early September!

My Dear Uncle Charles passed away peacefully March 25, 2015. He was eager to meet his Maker. He continued being a caring and generous friend right up until the end. Thankfully, he did see all the sequences to date and gave me a big thumbs-up! I wish I could have completed it before he died, but know his spirit is forever with this film and all of us involved in its creation.
Star Tribune Obituary article April 7, 2015

Thanks to you all for your time, interest and support. I hope that you can join us in making this film reality. Blessings to you all
~ Louise Woehrle, Filmmaker ~

To learn more about Stalag Luft III – One Man’s Story please visit our documentary project page: