Date: 1943 Nov 03/03 A/C Type: B-26 Marauder SN: 41-34963 Code: WT-Q A/C Nickname: Bugs Bunny
 File: 775 Airforce: USAAF Sqn/Unit: 323 BG - 456 BS Mission/Raid: Amsterdam Schiphol airfield
1 Pilot Capt. Anthony W. Geiser             All crew KIA 9    
2 Co-Pilot 1Lt. Chalender L. Lesher 10    
3 N 1Lt. Thomas Savino 11    
4 B 1Lt. Maxwell J. Stadler 12    
5 E S/Sgt. Pellegrino P. Lombardo 13    
6 RO T/Sgt. William G. Fortwengler     'Ardennes' 14    
7 TG S/Sgt. James R. Kitchell                 'Margraten' 15    
8     16                    
This B-26 took part in a bombing attack on Amsterdam-Schiphol airfield. Got a Flak-hit and went down uncontrollably. Crashed hard and in flames at Bovenkerk (Amstelveen), south of Amsterdam. Crew KIA.


In our research of the original Amsterdam WW2 burial files, we also came across the burial of this crew. On 15 November 1943 in New Eastern Cemetery in Amsterdam, 3 coffins were lowered in grave 74, stacked. The bottom coffin (3 deep), contained the combined and nameless remains of Geiser, Lesher, Savino, Stadler and Lombardo ("rests of Am. flyers"). In the middle coffin (2 deep) an unknown crewmember was buried, post war identified as Sgt. William G. Fortwengler. In the upper coffin (deep 1) was buried 'Eng. flyer Kitchell'.

After the war on 27 June 1946, Sgt. James R. Kitchell was exhumed and reburied in US centralization War Cemetery 'Netherlands' in Margraten. He rests there today.

The unknown in the other two coffins were moved to the US identification center in Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium. Here the single unknown was identified as Sgt. Fortwengler. He was buried in the ID-centers cemetery and is still there (today this cemetery is named US centralization War Cemetery 'Ardennes', Neupr√©). The five men in the other coffin could not  be individual identified and were also buried in 'Ardennes'. In 1951 they were exhumed and reburied in Arlington, Virginia, USA.  




    



Sources/read more:

- MACR
- 2012 research of the Amsterdam cemetery files and reconstruction of the war burials 1940-1945.
http://www.b26.com/marauderman/chalender_lesher.htm 









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