Category Archives: Clifford Houben

Clifford Houben’s Address List

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According to Wayne Houben (Clifford Houben’s son), Clifford escaped from Camp 59 and was given refuge by Italians; he was later recaptured and sent to Stalag 2B in Germany.

While in the Italian and German camps, Clifford accumulated a long address list of men he met. The list is comprised of nine full pages.

Roughly half of the addresses are written within the shapes of dog tags, and the traced holes of several of the tags cleverly contain camp numbers or crosses that likely indicate medical or pastoral affiliation.

Only the following 11 servicemen were noted as having been interned in Camp 59:

Keith Argraves, James A. Coccoran, Thomas C. Cronin, Edmund H. Cote, Milton Bunz, Marion P. Barone, Jack Kirkpatrick, Anthony Primac, Gene Schull, John A. Silborski, and Maholan J. Black

I checked many of the other names in the U.S. National Archives database of WW II POWS. Overwhelmingly, these other men were listed as having been freed from camps in Germany. How many were in Camp 59 and were recaptured after escaping—like Clifford Houben—I have no way of knowing. Some of the men, like Richard and Henry Kane, I know from other sources to have been in Camp 59.

I hope that relatives of any of the men listed below who read this post will contact me ( in order to help to resolve a bit of this puzzle.

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Clifford Houben—A Prisoner for 28 Months

Cliff Houben at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, 1941.

I heard earlier this month from Wayne Houben, who had this information to share concerning his father, who was a former POW at Camp 59.

“Clifford Houben was my father. He died in 1971 and was buried at the Glen Haven veteran’s memorial cemetery in Winter Park Florida.

“He wouldn’t talk about the time he was in the war, but he did leave some records. One was a war log that he wrote while in the prison camps. Unfortunately a part of the book was missing, taken by the Germans I assume.

“My dad went from England to Tunisia in North Africa. He was a scout and saw some terrible fighting. In his log he writes about a friend, Ralph Wilson, who was shot and died in my dad’s arms. He wrote several stories in his log, but it’s short on dates and places. Perhaps those were some of the things that were taken out.

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