Note: Slight changes have occurred in creating this webpage from the reply letter.
The signed name at the bottom overlapped the typed name and transfer exactly as signed would not work.
The address is supposed to be: 13444 124th Ave NE, instead of 1344 (resulted in late delivery)
O F F I C E O F T H E U N D E R S E C R ET A R Y O F D E F E NS E
2 0 0 0 D E F E N S E P E NT AG O N
W AS H I N GT O N , D .C . 2 0 30 1-2 0 0 0
Mr. Willis S. Cole, Jr. 1344 124th Avenue NE Kirkland, WA 98034-5403
Dear Mr. Cole,
Thank you for your February 26, 2014, letter to Secretary Hagel regarding the World War II losses of two B- 17 aircraft and the post-war identification of four of the crewmen from a cemetery in Chartres, France. You believe the Army confused the crash sites of the two B- l 7s and therefore misidentified the remains of four crewmen. You request the Department of Defense correct this alleged mistake by exhuming the remains of the four servicemen to re identify them. Your letter was forwarded to my office for response.
Analysts and historians from the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) have reviewed this matter at length. There is no historical evidence to support your belief that the Army Graves Registration Service confused
the crashes or losses of the two specific B- 17s you cite. Scientists from JPAC have reviewed the forensic evidence used by the Army in 1946 to make the identifications of the four crewmen in question and have found the dental and osteological data complete. There is no forensic
evidence to support your allegation that the Army misidentified the remains of the four crewmen.
Given the above, your request that the Department disturb the graves of four American servicemen and exhume their remains in order to validate their identifications cannot be supported. Please understand the Department must ask the families of American servicemen permission to exhume their loved ones' remains. For that reason, we only make such requests when we have convincing evidence to show the families that a mistake was made. There is no such evidence in this case.
We appreciate your strong interest and concern for the mission of accounting for our missing servicemen. I hope the information in this letter helps you better understand our position in regards to your request.
W Montague Winfield
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defehse POW/Missing Personnel AffairsFollowing are a few pages - this man obviously was not shown. When reading the submission on the home page, please find the identity pages and you will notice, there is a mistatement in the above. There is absolute proof that dental and forensic evidence does not match the remains, as identified. However, if you have a hidden adgenda, it appears that even Deputy Assistant Secretary Of Defense can fudge the truth or perhaps, they people telling him what he was told, failed to present any of the evidence that proves the above is wrong. It is all in the same files or available to DPMO and JPAC. Such as the German WWII aviation documents show there were no German fighter over Voves on 6 September, 1943, and living eyewitnesses report that the B-17 came in extremely low and very slow with only one working engine and both wings attached. And the original German photographs of the Voves crash site, show that B-17 had both wings and all four engines attached to the wings!
Note: Pastrick was the bombardier. The reported crash site area, located by the author on 9 November, 2013, in the Vosges Mountains of Eastern France. It appears, that Lt. Pastrick landed, was captured and taken to Troyes, where many survivors and most, if not all the various B-17s crew dead of the first six B-17 of the 388th BG shot down that day, were taken to be processed as POWs and buried. The author has visited and verified the grave site locations at a Troyes cemetery, as well as visiting all seven crash site to verify locations!
The distance from Troyes to Voves is approximately 107.5 miles. Or, a minimum of 45 minutes of flying time if the Melville B-17 had reached Troyes. All survivors testified they bailed out as soon as possible.
Common sense question: How could the Melville B-17 have flown another 107 miles to reach Voves, if there was a fire in the nose and the Melville B-17 was last seen in a fatal spin, with its nose and left wing of fire?
Common sense question: How did the Melville B-17 manage to fly the distance from where it was reported going down in that fatal spin just to the west of Strasbourg, which is approximately 134 miles to the east of Troyes?
Common sense question: How did the Melville B-17 managed to fly 261 miles from the location is was last "Officially Sighted" in all the "Official Reports" of that day's mission of the 388th BG to reach Voves, without being seen and reported by any of the same returning crew survivors of that day's mission.
1st Lt. Mohr's B-17 was last seen 32.6 miles to the east of Voves, at 10,000 feet, losing altitude due to only having one working engine. Exactly as reported by eye witnesses of the crash that day. Which DPMO and JPAC refuse to contact or visit Voves to verify, one way or the other!
Lt. Pastrick's Casualty Questionaire, which is enclosed in the Melville MACR3124 - A document that neither DPMO nor JPAC will allow into the evidence of the misidentification of the Melville dead!
Enclosed in the Melville MACR3124
Melville did not bail out.
Last contact: "At a boy (nick name? cannot read 100 %), stick with us, were going to ditch in the channel, out over water"
Anyone who researches Lt. Melville would know that could not have possibly taken place, when they were going down 35 miles to the west of Strasbourg and the Channel was approximately 320 direct air miles and the Group did not fly a straight line.
States, they were near Chartes. Notice, this is cursive writing and not block printed as almost such reports I have seen over the years were written in. In additon, almost all of the survivor testimonies are in the same handwriting.
Note: Since the plane went int dive when control cables were shot out and the instrument panel was smashed......
Note: The Group report and survivor reports, states the fatal spin began at a minimum of 20,000 feet, 35 miles to the west of Strasbourg. Yet, this testimony states, it was impossible to control the aircraft and DPMO and JPAC has it flying another 261 miles after what every real piece of evidence shows it went down.
Note: On the way down pieces of the plane kept falling past me. On the ground the whole left wing was lyinf one half mile from the rest of the plane, which was blazing. This gave rise that perhaps the plane exploded after I parted.
DPMO and JPAC maintains this cannot be believed, as the German photograph of the B-17 that crashed at Voves that day, had both wings attached. Who is right here, all the survivor testimony or "cherry picked" testimony that DPMO and JPAC uses to support their "wrong position" on the misidentifcation of the Mohr crew dead.
Common Sense Question: If the Melville survivor reported the wing broke off as it fell out of the sky, how did it get to Voves and how did the wing re-attach itself as shown in the German photograhs you will see in the submission?
It is becoming extremely obvious, that common sense has no use at DPMO, JPAC and apparently, the entire Department of Defense.
Note: The location matches the misidentification, but not the actual facts show in this collection of testimonies from the Melville MACR3124.
Apparently, the testimony of Lt. Pastrick had been included and could not be modified to make his testimony to match the misidentification, so they show him bailing out 30 minutes before their crash.
In combat formation, which no one reported the Melville B-17 being part of the formation after reporting it in a fatal spin 35 miles to the west of Strasbourg, the group covered about 150 miles an hour. Troyes is located approximately 105 direct air miles from Voves. It states in this testimony, they all bailed out 30 minutes after the bombardier, which means with all four engines going at full formation speed, they would have covered 75 miles, leaving them 30 miles from the crash site at Voves. And, this was done with the left wing gone from the Melville B-17 35 miles to the west of Strasbourg.
The pilot ordered Aldenhoevel to take the place of the bombardier who had bailed out 30 minutes before the plane went into its fatal spin.
Common Sense Question: If this was true, he bailed out before the Melville B-17 reached the target, Strasbourg.
Common Sense Question: If this was true, why would Aldenhoevel have gone from the nose escape hatch, back through the bomb bay and radio compartment, to bail out the back of the B-17 with Sgt. Tuvman?
It is true, that a wounded man was taken to the Voves village hall. Except, that happened nine months after the Mohr B-17 crashed at Voves. Once can review the Summerville MACR5800 and verify for oneself, that these testimonies have information from three crash sites, the Melville crash site, which was 261 miles to the east of the misidentified bodies. The Mohr crash site, which is exactly where it should have been identified as being located before Graves Registration made a very explainable mistaken identity. And, the Summerville tail gunner, Sgt. Harris was wounded by a 20mm shell.
Common Sense Question: If there were no German fighters, as documented by the German documents, over Voves on 6 September, 1943, and they shot down a B-17G over Voves on 14 June, 1944, and a man did fall to his death, the Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt. Vogt, with the tail gunner being hit in his knee by a 20mm shell and being taken to the Voves village hall by the Germans, how can this information be in this testimony, unless added once Graves Registration had already made the mistake and it was realized and then covered up then and again at this time by the current DPMO and JPAC organizations being protected by the Sec. of Defense, as verified by the author of the reply letter.
Note: Sgt. Creamer was not the left waist gunner, Sgt. Tuvman was the left waist gunner. Sgt. Borchert, was the right waist gunner and he was KIA inside the Melville B-17 when Tuvman and Aldenhoevel bailed out.
Lotter said, the tail was splintered and that gave me the impression that he (Creamer) was injured before the loss of plane.
Note: When you read the rest of the submission, please remember to note the condition of the remains identified as Sgt. Creamer. Then, look at the German photographs of the plane that crashed at Voves and notice, the tail shows none of the damage described in these testimonies. Yet, DPMO and JPAC state these are all wrong and the misidentification has to stand on it proven merits.
Simple Question: What proven merites?
When you read the submission, remember the statement made in the above letter about it all matches exactly, when you will read, nothing really matches, except DPMO's and JPAC's dismissal of the true fact in this MACR.
Yet, at the true crash site, there was three bodies removed from the Melville B-17 and later buried in the Luvigny cemetery, along with a fourth grave containing T/Sgt. Aldenhoevel's remains.
When you read the submission you will find, that the Germans reported recovering four dead at the Voves cash site and also burying them in three graves. One very possible situation is, that both DPMO and JPAC realize, if this is forced to go ahead, it will be discovered that one of the four graves, actually contains the remains of two of the Mohr dead and the remains DPMO and JPAC insist is the true Aldenhoevel remains, do not belong to any crew member of the Morh or Melville dead!
It is proven that all four of the Mohr dead were inside their B-17 when it crashed at Voves. There was no man who fell to his death there, that day. Yet, the remains identified as Aldenhoevel was removed from an Unknown grave in Chartres, located some distance from the other three graves? This, if anyone had done any real research into the burial of Allied dead by the Germans, such a seperation would not have happened.
Note: 1st Lt. Pronak was the Navigator of the Melville B-17. If anyone was capable of knowing where the Melville B-17 was located at the time of it beginning its fatal spin, it was this officer. Please notice, his and Pastrick's testimony both state Troyes. Because both were taken to Troyes after being captured!
This is a very disturbing Casuaty Questionnaire to me, as it contains false information in several ways. First, he was the one man who would have known were they were when they went down, yet they actually went down approximately 124 miles to the east of Troyes.
However, any real researcher would be able to determine, that due to the seperation of the French Departments (states) and the German areas of command, if one went west from the true Melville crash site, one was taken to the Troyes for processing. If one went east from the crash site, one was shipped directly to Frankfurt for processing, just as Sgt. Tuvman was handled.
Common Sense Question: Why would the only man on the Melville B-17 with full knowledge of France, make such as statement? He knew the distances involved and knew, there were in eastern France when their B-17 went down.
Common Sense Question: If the Bombardier had bailed out that 30 minutes earlier then the rest, he would still be inside the Melville B-17 after it was shot down, as the distance from Troyes to the true Melville crash site is approximately 120 miles to the east of Troyes. This would have put him inside the Melville B-17 a minimum of 30 miles after it had crashed?
As often stated, one can only lead a horse to water. If the horse refuses to acknowledge the water exists, that does not make the horse correct!
What one learns when reviewing the MACRs of the two bombers and the statements in them and the Individual Deceased Personnel Files of the four dead at each crash site, and adds in the Summerville MACR5800 and one had done any research into Graves
Registration of World War One and World War Two, one can begin to explain to any reasonable person, excactly how GR personnel made the original mistake.
The problem here, for some unknown reason, both DPMO and JPAc are playing a game that only they can pick out the truth and that picked out truth supports the misidentification of the Mohr crew dead, no matter how much the families have suffered over the years.
The reply letter, indicates that the Department of Defense supports DPMO and JPAC in their deception of the truth and their desire to keep the truth away from the American public. The families and myself, need all the help all of you can provide. We cannot force an investigation and hearing into this matter, where I can face both the DPMO and JPAC representatives in front of a governmental committe and present word for word, document for document evidence of their decepition all these years!
When you do contact your state Senators and your own locally elected Congressional Representative, please send me a note about the contact and those contacted, so I can insure they receive any additional material they may require myself. To insure they do not receive documents from DPMO and JPAC, who will not provide the evidence against their continued denial of the misidentification of the Mohr crew dead. My email address is: email@example.com
Note: States intercome lost just before loss of plane.
Note: The body was brought into the town of Voves!
Common Sense Question: At Luvigny, at the true Melville crash site, Aldenhoevel's body was taken to the village hall, where Sgt. Tuvman spent the night with his body on a table? Which one is it, was he wounded, that was Sgt. Harris on 14 June, 1944, who was taken to the Voves village hall, before being taken to a hospital in Chartres where he died from his wound.
Common Sense Question: At Luvigny, T/Sgt. Aldenhoevel's parachute was collapsed by a German fighter. At Voves, on 14 June, 1944, the Co-Pilot of Lt. Summerville's B-17 fell to earth, after his parachute caught on fire.
Common Sense Question: Which one is it DPMO, JPAC and Department of Defense?
Both are in the same file and both have disregarded by DPMO and JPAC. Something is rotten in their refusal to review the complete situation in front of a neutral panel of people, searching for the truth. Their defense of the misidentification would lose in any trial by jury and they know it!!!!
The author and his wife has been to each crash site and verified the statements in each crash sites MACR. DPMO and JPAC have done nothing to verify anything, except to keep their heads in the sand.
Note: is this document, based on "Official USA - 8th USAAF Documents"
Which is the truth, the "official documents of the Group or DPMO adn JPAC defense of the obvious mistake?
"Last seen with fire in the number four engine and nose, in a spin near Strasbourg. Yet, it is listed as crashing at Chartres, France, 275 miles to the west of the last "official sighting."
Note: Last seen 32.6 miles from Voves crash site, with only one working engine. It was directly east of the crash site at Voves and when it crashed, it had all its engines and both wings attached to the fuselage.
It is extremely obvious, that "Common Sense" nor "Professional Honesty" exist at the current DPMO and JPAC and apparently it continues up to the top of the Department of Defense, if it allows this letter to stand as written.
Please go to the home page and review all the original submission and additional notes. If, when you are done, come to the aid of the families of:
1st Lt. Roy H. Mohr, Jr.; 2nd Lt. Elmer F. Schulz; T/Sgt. Hartzell H. Jones and S/Sgt. Bernard A. Becker; 1st Lt. Earl S. Melville; T/Sgt. Frank Aldenhoevel; S/Sgt. William A. Borchert and S/Sgt. Walter C. Creamer, by sending a solid message to your State Senators, your locally elected Congressional Representative and give them this web site address and insist they visit it, and then demand that the Deparment of Defense, the DPMO and JPAC appear before an investigative committee to meet me and any family members who wish to appear to explain how their proven opinion, was proven? They cannot do that, if all the evidence is placed in front of a committe of their and our peers.
Willis S. Cole, Jr. "Sam" Battery Corporal Willis S. Cole Military Museum - a 501-(c)-3 Washington State Non-Profit Corporation