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In 1969, I traveled to Washington DC for the first time and visited the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. As I watched the Changing the Guard ceremony, I was so moved that chills went through my entire body, tears went down my face, and I began wondering if the World War II unknown could be my brother. I learned that the Tomb of the Unknowns was first created when the World War I Unknown chosen from four identical caskets in France was interred in 1921. The selection and…Continue
Added by Michael Darter on July 1, 2015 at 2:13am — No Comments
On a windy and foggy winter’s day, 17-year-old Dutchman Cornelius Ellen was standing on the Texel dike when the wind blew Eugene’s parachute over the Texel Island shore. When my brother splashed down, Cor reported that he was pulled further and further out into the Wadden Sea by a fierce wind that lifted his still connected parachute up like a half-moon out into the sea until he was “Gone With the Wind.” What happened after that is still a big mystery. There are several possibilities. -…Continue
Added by Michael Darter on June 15, 2015 at 2:57am — No Comments
The situation was desperate onboard the severely damaged and badly smoking B17F Lonesome Polecat II as it headed out over the Wadden Sea towards England – losing altitude fast. The Polecat had fought a fierce aerial combat battle over Germany and was saved at the last moment when the American P51 escorts found them and drove off the enemy aircraft. Pilot Fred Delbern had ordered a bailout but only the three upfront crewmen had bailed out over Germany; the five crewmen in the rear of the…Continue
Added by Michael Darter on June 3, 2015 at 1:36am — No Comments
We never found her although we’ve searched. She found us instead. Beyond all belief, the former wife of Lt. Fred Delbern, pilot of the Lonesome Polecat II found us in March 2009, 68 years after he vanished during the mission to Bremen, Germany. We received a call from Dane Hanson, her nephew, informing us that she was indeed alive, and she wanted to talk to us. I called her immediately and found out that the former Mrs. Delbern had remarried and was now Geraldine Marshall. She had a good,…Continue
Added by Michael Darter on May 25, 2015 at 2:26am — No Comments
We had tracked the flight path of the Lonesome Polecat B-17F from Bremen, Germany to Texel Island, Netherlands through individual surviving crew reports as well as eyewitness reports on Texel. In addition, we discovered reports from two German pilots who saw the B-17 crash near De Koog village. With all this information, we knew the general flight path of the B-17 across Texel as the crew proceeded to bail out thinking they were over the North Sea.
I would like to share the…
Added by Michael Darter on April 30, 2015 at 12:41am — No Comments
Every year, I would return to Texel Island to search for more information about my brother and his crew. I have met numerous people and government officials who were interested in the story and offered to help.
A “Message from Beyond” discovered on beach just days before memorial to three MIA airmen. Read more at http://bit.ly/1OEOUaf
Added by Michael Darter on April 22, 2015 at 1:30am — No Comments