( Updated November 2007)


First publications about POW camp in Shumen were in a  set of articles  in Bulgarian magazine "Wings" -1983, by Kiril Yanev and Emil Yanev under the title " Operation POINT BLANK".

More or less notes were in the next Bulgarian books ( they are not translated into English):

1. " In the wolfs lair" by Petar Iliev, 1983

2. "Flying fortresses over Bulgaria" by Rumen Rumenin, 1990.

3. " Under the will of the winners", by Ivan Dimitrov, 1996

4. "Memories" by Dragomir Evrov, 2002

5. "Secret documents began to speak" by Gotcho Tchakalov, 2002

6. "American terrorism over Bulgarians" by Rumen Rumenin, 2004


1. "Ploesti" by James Dugan and Carroll Stewart, 1962. ( Available is a new addition ).

2. "Those who fall " by John Muirhead  , 1986

3."Don't let the blue stars turn gold" by Jerry Whiting, 2005

4. "Gidi Gidi Boom Boom" by Robert Johnson, 2006

There are else some Internet sources with memories of former American POW's.



"Gidi Gidi Boom Boom" by Robert Johnson


This is the story of the Ploesti raiders, shot down on a mission to Romania. What separates it from other stories is that top turret gunner Bob Johnson became one of a small group of Allied prisoners in Bulgaria. Johnson describes in gripping detail the attack of Messerschmitt fighters that shot down his plane, even including the statement of one of the Bulgarian pilots who shot him down. He recounts life at the hands of his captors and his transfer to the POW camp at Shumen. With little food and limited to one quart of water per day for drinking and hygiene, living in cramped conditions, infested with bugs and lice, denied proper medical care for the sick and wounded, and sleeping on bare concrete, Johnson and his fellow airmen survived. Johnson provides a first hand account of the release and his first taste of freedom, culminating in a train ride through Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Syria, and a plane trip to Egypt. Most stories would end here, but Johnson tells the rest of the story, of the secret mission to Bulgaria after the prisonersí release, in search of Bulgarian war criminals who had brutalized some of the American airmen. This isnít just another war story. Carefully researched, with supporting documentation, it is an inspiring account, part of our American history that is not commonly known, kept secret for many years.

For more information



"Don't let the blue stars turn gold" by Jerry Whiting  

These are true stories of airmen who didn't return from bombing missions over Europe. In one of the chapters  is described the story of Major Walter Smithís crew and their staying in POW camp in Bulgaria. Major Smith was the rankest POW in the camp. After his liberation, he returned to Bulgaria with the General Hallís mission. 

For more information

Jerry Whiting at Camarillo air show


" Oranjehaven" by Paul van Beckum, 1992


" Sky odyssey" by Aleksandar Kolo, 2006


For more information  



Special thanks to :

Mr. Robert Johnson, Jerry Whiting and Aleksandar Kolo for providing books

Mr. Charles Palmer  and Mr. Michael Tinker for providing  POW's unpublished diaries

Mr. Mark La Scotte, Mr. Randall Hannum ,Mr. Victor Laurentius and Mr. Daniel Crouchley for providing many sources with information for stories and people from Shumen POW camp

And all other friends in Bulgaria ,USA, Germany, The Netherlands for the information support of this site


Collected by Stanimir Stanev