Born in Branford, Connecticut, CARL HOLMSTROM received a full scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York City where he studied commercial art and majored in calligraphy. After graduation, he joined the USAAF as a B-17 bombardier but was captured when his plane crashed in Tunisia on his first mission in 1943.
After treatment for his injuries, he was imprisoned at Oflag 21B in Schubin, Poland, before being transferred to Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany, where he spent the next two and a half years. In January 1945, during the coldest winter in Germany in fifty years, he was marched fifty-two miles to Spremberg, Germany, to ride in a filthy, overcrowded box car to Stalag VIIA in Moosburg, Germany. His artwork made the entire arduous journey. He was liberated by American General George Patton’s Third Army.
Post-war, Carl became a free-lance commercial artist. He married and had four children. Carl died on 3 August 1979. Through his creations, so carefully safeguarded, the history of the lives of his fellow prisoners is preserved for posterity.