HEBRON — Historian Hank Lunn of Camden recently briefed the Hebron Historical Society on his personal experiences with German World War II prisoners of war in his hometown of Littleton in Aroostook County.

At the end of the war in the European Theater, 42,000 prisoners of war were brought to the U.S. to serve time in camps across the country. Two thousand of the Germans were shipped to Houlton Air Base.

Due to a lack of available workers in the area, local farmers were allotted prisoners to help each day, the number based on the size of the farm. Lunn’s father was allotted seven to assist in harvesting his potato crop. The crew was escorted in a truck each day from the Houlton base to the Lunn farm. In the winter the prisoners were utilized in the wood-harvesting operations in the area.

Lunn was 11 at that time, but he recounted numerous experiences which led to his understanding of the soldiers and his growing friendship with them while conversing during meals at the farm. One of the workers was credited with saving the life of a young girl who had fallen off a moving tractor.

From “Foe to Friend” thus became the theme of Lunn’s numerous presentations in educating the public on the post-World War II history in Maine.

State Historian Earle Shettleworth will speak on “The Maine Home Front in World War I” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Hebron Town Office, 351 Paris Road. The public is invited.

Hank Lunn

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