Missing Airmen of a B-26 Marauder finally accounted for

1

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that servicemen, missing from World War II, have been accounted for and their remains are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

On December 23, 1944, a B-26G Marauder from the 559th Bomber Squadron, 397th Bomber Group, took off from Saint Quentin, France, on a mission to bomb an enemy-held bridge in Eller, Germany. However the B-26 Marauder was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire near Seffern, Germany.

The men who lost their lives were 1st Lt. William P. Cook of Alameda, California; Flight Officer Arthur J. LeFavre of Red Bank, New Jersey; Staff Sgts. Maurice J. Fevold of Chicago, Frank G. Lane Jr. of Cleveland and Ward C. Swalwell Jr. of Chicago; and Sgt. Eric M. Honeyman of Alameda, California.

A U.S. Army Air Forces Martin B-26G-11-MA Marauder (s/n 43-34565) from the 497th Bombardment Squadron, 344th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force, enveloped in flames and hurtling earthward after enemy flak scored a direct hit on left engine while aircraft was attacking front line enemy communications center at Erkelenz, Germany.

A U.S. Army Air Forces Martin B-26G-11-MA Marauder (s/n 43-34565) from the 497th Bombardment Squadron, 344th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force, enveloped in flames and hurtling earthward after enemy flak scored a direct hit on left engine while aircraft was attacking front line enemy communications center at Erkelenz, Germany. (Credits: U.S. Army Air Force)

After 74 years they have finally been accounted for and will be buried with full military honors. Cook was buried Oct. 18, 2014, in Oakland, California. Fevold was buried Oct. 20, 2014, in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, and Lane was buried May 2 in Willoughby, Ohio. Honeyman was buried on June 22 in Trail, British Columbia, Canada. LeFavre will be buried on Aug. 18 in Arlington National Cemetery. Swalwell will be buried on Aug. 20 in Arlington National Cemetery.

Following World War II, the Army Graves Registration Command (AGRC) conducted extensive field investigations and was unable to locate the aircraft and the crew. In May 1949, AGRC concluded the crew members were unrecoverable.

In 2006, a group of researchers from Arbeitsgemeinschaft Luftkriegsgeschichte Rhein/Mosel, and History Flight -99th Division MIA Project located the wreckage of a B-26G associated with the loss of this crew, near Allmuthen, Belgium and notified the U.S. Army Mortuary Affairs Activity – Europe. In 2007, a Department of Defense (DoD) team investigated the site and recommended it for excavation. In 2012 and 2013, another DoD team excavated the crash site and recovered human remains, aircraft wreckage, and personal effects.




Share.

About Author

Argunners Magazine is an independent online historian and collector's magazine, dedicated to the militaria and history of both Axis and Allied powers during the World War 1 & 2. Argunners is a central resource offering the latest militaria and war history news, journals, articles and press releases related to these themes.

1 Comment

Let us know what you think: