ELMER MADSEN (1880 - 1975)
October 17, 2006
Thank you for the wonderful website. I happened across it while researching the life of my Great Uncle, Elmer Madsen, who was interred at Los Banos as well and is mentioned in the newspaper article. Thank you for sharing Georgi's wonderful life with us all.
Unfortunately I do not know the date or place the above picture of my uncle was taken. Seems he was always on the move. From the looks of it though compared to later pictures I have of him he must be in his late teens early 20s. Elmer was born near Boleus, Nebraska in 1880. I don't know that much about him other than he must have been pretty wealthy. He lived most of his life overseas with a large portion of it in Manila (hence his internment there) I do know that he was a very high ranking officer of the Pacific Commercial Company, at one time the largest import export company in the Philippines. He died in 1975. I did get to meet him on a few occasions when he would come to San Diego to see his niece (my Grandmother). His last surviving son William Madsen passed away a few years ago (1920-2003). William's wife Claudia just passed away April 15th (2007) so that door is now closed too. Elmer's granddaughter and grandson still live in Santa Barbara and I hope to get up there to see them before the end of summer. I believe Elmer was buried in Nebraska beside his parents, sister, and brother.
He lived an amazing life. I am fortunate that he corresponded with his sister so much (my great grandmother) as she passed a lot of his post cards to my grandmother and I ended up with them after she passed away a few years ago.
There is still a person in Manila whom I have corresponded with who's parents were very close friends of his. His name is George Winternitz and his family were Austrian refugees who fled Europe as the Nazi's were beginning to take over. They ended up in Manila where they met Elmer. I have two letters Elmer sent over on the first flight of CHINA CLIPPER eastbound from Manila. One to my great grandmother one to my grandmothers brother. They give an interesting glimpse of what was going on in Manila in late 1935. I will email you copies of those as well. It was those letters that got me interested in collecting Pan Am memorabilia which my daughter now claims is an obsession.
I will forward more info on Elmer as soon as I can.
San Diego, CA
or would like to be added to my POW/Interneed e-mail distribution list,
please let me, Tom Moore, know.