Skip to Main Content

Clark Special Collections

Shoemaker, Lloyd R. (SMS 576)



Lloyd R. Shoemaker (1921-1995) was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1941. He served in the China-Burma-India Theater where he was captured and held for a short time as a prisoner of war. He escaped his captors and was assigned to the Military Intelligence Service (MIS-X) in Alexandria, Virginia, where he remained through the end of World War II. After the war, Shoemaker became a police officer in Salt Lake City and served as director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Emergency Services Corps, which conducted rescue operations for the state. He was also an insurance investigator, a building contractor, and a rancher, and he served as the building official for the city of Kalispell, Montana, where he retired in 1982. Upon his retirement, Shoemaker wrote a book about MIS-X activities called The Escape Factory, which was published in 1990. Shoemaker was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and an honorary member of the Stalag Luft III POW Association. He donated his research materials to the Air Force Academy shortly before his death in 1995.

The Military Intelligence Service-X Section (MIS-X) was a top-secret classified section of the United States Department of War that was established to handle U.S. personnel trapped or held captive by the enemy during World War II. Its functions included training airmen in escape/evasion techniques and proper conduct if captured. The department was also tasked with gathering intelligence information from returning POWs and escapees, including the location of enemy camps, enemy interrogation techniques, the location of local escape networks, and the identification of enemy collaborators. MIS-X established and disseminated codes to airmen so that, if captured, they could transmit information about the enemy in his letters home. MIS-X also planned and facilitated the rescue of American POWs and others who were trapped behind enemy lines. MIS-X operated in all theaters of the war and is credited with assisting some 16,000 U.S. personnel with their return to Allied territory. Additional information regarding Shoemaker and MIS-X can be found in his book The Escape Factory (included), and in other documents within the collection

The Shoemaker Collection consists of a primary collection of six boxes, plus an additional seven addendums that were acquired by Clark Special Collections at later dates. Those addendums are included at the end of the finding aid. This material was assembled by Lloyd R. Shoemaker during research for his book The Escape Factory, copies of which can be found in Addendum 4. Some items were removed from the collection at an earlier date and sent to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C. A list of these items may be available upon request. Scope and content information for each individual addendum can be found within those sections of the finding aid. Click the link at the top of the page to access the finding aid.

The MIS-X Reports Index (link above) provides a list and summaries of the Escape and Evasion Reports found in the Lloyd R. Shoemaker Collection.