RESEARCH BITS AND PIECES - scroll to read the whole story!

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This item is the result of sorting out the late P.M. Pulles' archive consisting of years of correspondence with WWII veterans and fellow researchers.

By posting the information on our website, we hope to be a channel for family members and researchers to find additional information.

We will always mention the source of the information. In case you find a source is missing or you know the data is incorrect or incomplete, we invite you to drop us a line.

GLIDER CRASH - KRUISHOUTEM, BELGIUM

19 September 1944

 

Mystery solved!

While scanning 1986 correspondence between Pete M. Pulles (original author of the 'Screaming Eagles of WWII' reference book
and Albert Hoe (WWII 502), we came across the name Jesus HERNANDEZ (327 GIR) with a date of 19 September and a
location 'Kravishouten'in Belgium.

That's where the research started because there is no 'Kravishouten' in Belgium.

It should be noted here that almost all correspondence in the 1980s was done by snail mail and handwritten.

 

 

So, a little logic was applied. A little 'googling' done, and there you have 'Kruishoutem', a small community in Belgium, which, on 19 September 1944, was right on the flight path of gliders in the third wave for Operation Market Garden.

Another search on the world wide web (also not available in the 1980s) took us to to a website dedicated to Belgian aerial history. Unfortunately, the site is only offered in the Dutch language. Fortunately, we happen to be fluent in Dutch...

And there was Jesus HERNANDEZ, together with 14 other casualties of a glider crash in Kruishoutem on 19 September 1944. The information supplied at the website explains that all 15 men were buried in the local cemetery on the 20 September 1944 until they were reinterred in American cemeteries a few months later. Kruishoutem, at the time, was already liberated.

Some of the 15 names were found to not be entirely correct on this website, but the information led us to compare with the Screaming Eagles of WWII list and put pieces of the puzzle together.

Our research voyage led us to a discussion dating from 2011 on the well known Trigger Time forum, many times to
the wonderful website of Fields of Honor and to Findagrave, for those men that we knew were not recorded
with the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The result is correct data for all 14 men from 327/B Company, and glider pilot FRY, who lost their lives in that horrible glider crash.
Their names are:
Glider Pilot F/O Emory A. FRY
1Lt Allen M. ELLIS
Ssgt Milo H. WALLACE
Sgt Henry J. BARRETT
Pfc Warren H. GARRETT
Pfc Frank G. HAAKE
Pfc John A. INSOLO
Pfc Patrick B. KEANE
Pfc Charles W. KEMPF
Pfc Paul N. LASKY
Pfc Frank S. PACHECO
Pvt Ernest J. GERE
Pvt Jesus G. HERNANDEZ
Pvt Eugene M. MORAN
Pvt Kenneth O. ZIMMERMAN

Moreover, the Fields of Honor website holds a statement by Capt. John W. GALLAGER, who was the pilot of the tow plane, on the
circumstances surrounding the glider crash.

Statement from John W. Gallager, Captain, 82nd TC Sq. 436th TC GP:

'I was towing F/O Fry and was flying the number three position in a four ship element. I lost the formation over the sea about four minutes before I reached the Belgium Coast. Due to instrument weather I went down and crossed the coast under the weather at an altitude of about 200 feet. When we reached a point about 6 miles from Ghent, Belgium, the visibility got so low we could just see the glider from the tow ship so I decided to try climbing up through the overcast. We held the same heading and started climbing. When we reached the altitude of about 500 feet the glider pulled our tail down and left. Then it straightened up again for about 30 seconds. He then started having more trouble and either cut loose or the rope broke. We made a search of the area but found no trace of the glider. During this search we found an R.A.F. Field so we landed and reported the position of the glider as near as we could.'

Glider Pilot F/O Emory A. FRY (photo Fields of Honor database), buried in ABMC Ardennes
1Lt Allen M. ELLIS (photo posted on Findagrave.com), buried in Indiana
Sgt Henry J. BARRETT (photo posted on Findagrave.com), buried in Kansas
Pfc Warren H. GARRETT (photo Fields of Honor database), buried in ABMC Ardennes
Pvt Ernest J. GERE (photo Fields of Honor database), buried in ABMC Ardennes
Pfc Frank G. HAAKE (photo Fields of Honor database), buried in ABMC Ardennes
Pvt Jesus G. HERNANDEZ (photo Findagrave), buried in ABMC Ardennes
Pfc John A. INSOLO (photo Fields of Honor database), buried in ABMC Ardennes
Pfc Patrick B. KEANE (photo Findagrave), buried in Connecticut.
Pfc Charles W. KEMPF (photo Findagrave), buried in ABMC Ardennes
Pfc Paul N. LASKY (photo ww2-airborne.us), buried in Liege, Belgium according to gravemarker in Ohio - see below
Pvt Eugene M. MORAN (photo Fields of Honor database), buried in ABMC Ardennes

Pvt Kenneth O. ZIMMERMAN is buried in Minnesota.

No further information was found.

Pfc Frank S. PACHECO (photo Findagrave), buried in California
Ssgt Milo H. WALLACE (photo Findagrave), buried in Wisconsin
 

One piece of the puzzle is yet to be found: Pfc Paul N. LASKY (ASN 35044255), originally from Ohio,
has a gravemarker in Lorain, Ohio, inscribed with the text 'buried in Liege, Belgium' and a recorded date of death
8 May 1944. An in-depth research to find the last resting place of Pfc LASKY, following the trail of local archives
to American grave registration is warranted.

 

Rest in peace....and thank you for our freedom

 

 

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