A Battery Corporal Willis S. Cole Military Museum Web Site
Dedicated to researching our KIA (Killed In Action). MIA (Missing In Action) and MID (Misidentified Dead) military Dead.
For the past eight years, we have been deeply involved in helping a family who contacted us, to learn the real truth about what happened to their Uncle, who did not return from World War Two. Since 6 September, 1943, 1st Lt. Roy H. Mohr, Jr. and three of his of his crewmen have been carried as Missing in Action. Perhaps,a major injustice to Lt. Mohr is the fact, that he did not have his name placed on the Walls of Remembrance at oneof our cemeteries in England or Europe, though his three crewmen's names are listed.
When asked why, the American Battle Monuments Commission, DPMO (Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office) and JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Command) all use the same excuse. It is still an open case, th0ugh they have done nothing to close the case in seventy years. One has to wonder, exactly how many open cases have led to one or more of the MIA personnel not being listed, due to such dysfunctionals organizational situations.
24 April, 2014, update: all the following still stands, however we have just received a letter from the Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense, 2000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-2000, signed by W. Montague Winfield, Deputy Assistant Secretary Of Defense, POW/Missing Personnel Affairs. A copy of this letter is available, just click on the button below and read it, before you read the submission and its attachments, following this update.
As you will read, again the DPMO and JPAC states, there is no evidence in any of the files reviewed to have them change the mistake made in 1945, when four men's remains now carried as MIA, were misidentified as being the remains of a crew that all documents had to have crashed 261 miles from the location where the misidentified dead, died.
At this location, you will also be able to review a very few documents and photographs, that absolutely prove a mistake was made, along with comments on new information made to available to DPMO and JPAC five or more years ago and they refuse to admit to the families of the MIA and Misidentified dead, that a mistake was made and they are going to do, what their 100, plus, million Dollar budget is supposed to do. Properly identify our military dead. However, it is obvious, that DPMO and JPAC do not want the American public to be aware that such mistakes, though very uncommon, did occur during and after World War Two and yes, our other wars probably have one or more of the same situation.
Please read their reply, the simple absolute proof and the submission laid out further into this website and if you agree, that over seventy years later, these eight families deserve the truth and that DPMO and JPAC must be forced to act at once to begin to correct this situation, please email your States Senators and your own locally elected Congressional Representative and give them the address of this site and ask they review the same evidence and then, demand a full investigation into the failure of DPMO and JPAC to act, when any reasonable person will agree with you, a misidentification of these dead has taken place. Leading to four men who died 261 miles from this location, currently being buried as German military dead in a German WWII military cemetery in France.
Then go on Facebook and any other contact service you may use and give the website location to everyone you can, and ask each of them to visit the site and join in forcing the government to do for these specific World War Two dead, both Missing In Action and Misidentified deserve!
Willis S. Cole, Jr. "Sam" - And, the families of the eight WWII dead involved in this situation!
The submission copy and additions begin below the following information.
In 2008, we first found evidence that a crash site which had been identified as being the crash site where fuor men, 1st Lt. Melville, T/Sgt. Aldenhoevel, Sgt. Brochert and Sgt. Creamer had died. However, nothing that we could find, tied the Melville crash site to the crash site at Voves, France, which had been identified as their location of death. On 6 September, 1943, at Voves, a B-17 bomber was seen approaching from the east, at a very low altitude. That day, there were no American formations overhead and there certainly no German fighteres. Yet, it has been a long proven fact, that T/Sgt. Aldenhoevel, of the Melville crew, had died, after safely bailing out at an altitude over 20,000 feet. As his parachute opened, he was buzzed by a German fighter, which caused his parachute to collapse and then he fell to his death. Such an event did take place, exactly where the 388th Bomber Group's official documents state they did, 35 miles to the west of Strasbourg, France, which is 261 miles to the east of Voves.
The "Fortress," that crashed at Voves on 6 September, 1943, was observed by living eyewitnesses, to have had all both wings and all four engines attached, at the time it crashed. Since 2008, we found the first solid proof of th misidentification, more and more evidence ot the misidentification of the ccrash site and the dead have come to light. Evidence, that we made available to the DPMO and JPAC researchers as we found it in dozens of official documents and testmony by a survivor who saw T/Sgt. Aldenhoeve's body on the ground where he landed. Both DPMO and JPAC personnel chose to disregard all of it. Though, we kept sending in additional evidence, they have continued to refuse to correctly research the evidence! Stating, as you will later read, that our evidence was not "strong historical evidence" and they saw it differently, than we did. Which, puts them in the position of stating, that all the 388th Bomber Group's official documents of 6 September, 1943, are not "strong historical evidence!" Which also means, that no 8th USAAF documents of World War Two can be used as "strong historical evidence," unless DPMO and JPAC reviews and approves of each and every entry. One wonders, "how taking care of our mitary dead" gives them such authority to deny history!
Sadly, time is proving, that these two organizations are totally dysfunctional and have been lying to the families of our MIA dead and researchers as the organizations wish. Based on an internal organizational culture belief, "That no one will dare question us, for we take care of our military dead." I was told this about fifteen years ago by a retiring employee of the (then) Mortuary Affairs Center, as they were replaced by new people with no real, "in the field," experience. At that same time, I also noticed, the AMBC employees at our cemeteries in Europe were also turning over and their supervisors and employees were becoming grounds keepers and not people interested in the men and women buried in their cemeteries and in their care.
During a recent visit to France, in November, 2013, I have found a new group of superintendents and employees. Men and women who care about the dead they guard and to me, they are again a blessed group of people, who truly care!
Recently, I received the following article by the Reuters News Organization, from Daniel Becker. Daniel is a brother of S/Sgt. Bernard Becker, the Belly Turret Gunner of the Mohr crew, who died in the crash at Voves, shown in the photograph below. S/Sgt. Becker had now been MIA or actually, MID (Misidentifed Dead) for over seventy years. In 1977, when their mother was dying, her last words were, "Good, now I will find out what happened to Bernard!" If only, the mistake that can easily be tracked to 1945/46, with evidence that would have proven a mistake was made. Had been corrected at any time as the years passed, before she died. Bernard's mother would not have had to depend on going to Heaven to learn the truth. And, to think, for at least seven years DPMO and JPAC have continued the lie, when all evidence proves they are on the wrong side of the truth! Our MIA and MID dead, deserve so much more than DPMO and JPAC have done over the past 14 years, will all their millions in their budets. They have failed the American public and we can only hope the submission that follows on this site, perhaps, had a small part to play with what you will read in this article.
What you will read, begins with the cover letter I sent to the families, along with four total submission packages, so they could send a submission to each of their State Senators and one to their their locally elected Congressional Representative. With one for their family files, to also share with their local television stations and newspapers. Following, button by button, you will find the entire submission, we began to send out in March, 2014. As to DPMO and JPAC, those two dysfunctional orgaizations with an organizational culture who hide behind, "Who would dare question those who take care of our military dead?" Well, I can, I have questioned their failures to truly represent our KIA, MIA and MID families and I will continue to do so, until a new organization is formed. One, without any of the current leadership of either organization involved. If they are, I will continue to question all that they do, until it is proven to me that such actions are no longer required.
Since Christmas Eve, 1991, I have been researching an isolated American war grave in the village cemetery of Cartigny, France. It has led me to some amazing discoveries, which has proved an amazing act took place in France, in early November, 1944. When twice, within three days, American military personnel at two different crash site locations, 138 miles apart, hid American military dead on direct (verbal) order from General Eisenhower's headquarters. Two and a half years, after beginning this research, I found that one of the two bombers invoved, was in fact a dual Congressional Medal Of Honor bomber, one of only two in the 8th USAAF. As, the pilot, 1st Lt. Donald J. Gott and the Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt. William E. Metzger, Jr. were both awarded the medal for their supposed actions that day.
Upon learning the truth and reading their medal Citations, a major problem stood out. I had already poven, they had died in a completely different manner than described on their medal Citations! They were awarded the medals on GO38-16May45 and the Citations description of their crash and death, is not the truth. It is the absolute truth of the crash of a "Top Secret B-24," shot down by "Friendly Fire," that had crashed a few miles from the grave at Cartigny, that I had been researching. Some years later, I was able to prove, the grave contains two-thirds of the remains of the three men killed in that crash. Remains, which had been hidden in a unmarked grave in a French field. Two weeks after their remains were placed in the hidden grave, the village Priest moved their partial remains to the village cemetery. This occurred, after the Village Elders realized the Americans were not going to come back and recover their military dead. The Americans had been seen hiding the remains of their military dead by a citizen of the village. Who had just helped the Americans recover the remains at the bomber crash site! Very upset at what he had seen, he informed had informed the Village Elders about the hidden grave and its contents.
The actual crash site of the Lt. Gott B-17G, was in the Woods of Hattonville, France, and that site is preserved today. Anyone can visit the Hattonville crash site today and prove to themselves, that the Gott B-17 crashed in a very different way, then it was stated to have crashed in the medal Citations!
Additional research, has proven the Americans, who were stationed at Hattonville and in control of the Gott crash site, were ordered to bury three of the four dead at the site and to hide the grave. They were told, by direct (verbal) order from General Eisenhower's headquarters, that the dead were German military dead and not American military dead and the remains had to be hidden to keep the Germans from discovering their captured KG200 Group B-17 and its German crew had been shot down in Allied Liberated France. You will notice, both the situations I am writing about, involves "Secret" German Air Force KG200 Group dead. When there is no documentation of any actual invovement of that unit in either situation.
To the best of our knowledge, due to DPMO and JPAC continuing to refuse to conduct a proper "site search," at the Hattonville crash site, the remains of the two pilots and their radio operator are still buried in that hidden grave at the Hattonville crash site! And, the four misidentified Melville crew dead are still buried at Andilly!
We only ask, for you to read the attached submission and make up your own mind! Then, if you agree, please write your State Senators and your local Congressional Representative and provide them with this site location for their review and demand they join with the twelve families of these twelve American war dead, in seeking the real truth from DPMO and/or JPAC. In addition, specifically demand that neither DPMO/JPAC or the new organization that is be formed, be allowed to delay the required actions any longer. Seventy years is long enough for their familes to be lied to, by the country they died for and it is time for these military dead's siblings and families to know the truth!
Judy Manning, the girl on his left knee, remembers well, her Uncle Frank. T/Sgt. Frank Aldenhoevel, on his final leave, when leaving for England. "He was a loving and caring son to his parents and a wonderment to his older sister and younger brother, but most of all he was my beloved Uncle Frank."
Frank, was the radio operator and with his pilot, 1st Lt. Melville, their right waist gunner, Sgt. Brochert, and their tail gunner, Sgt. Creamer, the four men died in France, on 6 September, 1943.
Frank managed to bail out of the falling B-17. However as he opened his parachute, a German fighter buzzed him, his parachute collapsed and Frank fell to his death. Lt. Melville, Sgt. Bochert and Sgt. Creamer rode the bomber down and died in the crash, if they were not already dead from the shell fire.
Due to what you will read in the following submission, their crash site and their remains were never properly identified as belonging to the American 8th USAAF. Then, after the war ended, the Americans continued to deny these four dead their American heritiage. In due time, a Frenchman who was researching all the WWII aviation crash sites in France, in order to establish an identity to the B-17 crash site and the dead at Luvigny, France, manged to convince the Germans that the dead from this crash site had to be a German air crew, flying a captured B-17.
On 23 February, 1959, the Germans recovered the four (American) remains from the Luvigny cemetery and moved them to their German World War Two cemetery, located at Andilly, France. Where they were again buried, this time as (mis)identified German air crew members of the KG 200 Group.
At that time, such isolated crash sites were very hard to research and the German unit, the "Secret" KG200 Group had destroyed all their records before the war ended. Today, there are many people researching such crashes, thanks to the easier access to documens, via the Internet. These researchers have proven, that the German captured B-17, that was misidentified as being the Melville B-17F, had been shot down over its airbase on 3 March, 1945. This base was located about 130 miles to the east of Luvigny.
However, the dead buried as (mis)identified Germans in the Andilly cemetery have never verified by anyone. We located the true Melville crash site on 9 November, 2013, and verified the B-17 that had crashed near Luvigny, France, and the four men had died during that crash, matched exactly with all USAAF official documents concerning the Melville loss! Including all the testimony provided by survivors of the crew, including the survivor whom we personally interviewed in 2009. His description of T/Sgt. Aldenhoevel's death, his landing location, his being captured by the Germans and being taken to see Aldenhoevel's body in the garden where it landed. Then, spending the night in the village hall, with the body, matches exactly with the testimony of sme Luvigny area citizens and the hard evidence of the crash sites.
The following submission has three purposes, the first is to force an immediate correction of the misidentified Morh crew members, by disinterring their true remains and using MDNA, to properly identify the Mohr crew dead's remains and then, to rebury them, with fully military honors, as their families wish. Then, the four remains of the Melville crew dead, still in the German cemetery, must be disinterred, correctly identified and again, buried with full miltary honors as the families wish. In addition, a deep ground search must be made at the Hattonville crash site to verify the hidden dead were later recovered, or if their remains are still at the crash site. It is illegal for us to search such crash sites in France. However, JPAC can do so, without any problems. Only, they refuse! Why, well there are two Congressional Medal Of Honor Citations with false information on them. However, that does not mean the pilots did not deserve such an award. What they did in the last couple of minutes of their lives, if it had properly been recognized, would have gained the award just for those actions. What they do not deserve, is after knowning the possible truth since May, 2000, and promising a full "Search and Recovery", both DPMO and JPAC have failed to do so.
Over the past twenty-one, plus years, I have met several siblings of these twelve men and now, many have passed without knowning the truth from our government. Though, I had informed them of my research and shown them the proof. Apparently, DPMO and JPAC leadership believe, the "American public cannot handle the truth!"