The Baltimore Sun recently published a long story of a York man and World War II casualty, Russell Abendschoen, whose remains will be buried in Arlington Cemetery.
Long, but compelling.
Here’s an excerpt:
The story of how Abendschoen’s remains were uncovered and identified is as complex as any mystery novel. The characters include a boy with a metal detector, an elderly Dutch priest, historians, scientists and an account clerk for the Ohio Department of Transportation. These people contributed their passion and expertise, and, in the case of two, their blood, to bring Abendschoen’s remains from a faraway field to a hero’s grave.
“It just blows your mind,” says DeEtta Scott, a distant relative whose DNA was used to help identify Abendschoen’s bones. “Even though we didn’t know him, we’re pretty proud of him.”
The Army Air Corps technical sergeant was the third World War II military man whose remains were recovered in recent years.
The others: …
• The 63-year-old remains of Army Air Force 2nd Lt. Donald F. Grady, a York-area native, were recently identified. Grady enlisted at age 19 and died less than a year later. After bombing Japanese in New Guinea on April 16, 1944, his plane, a B-24 Liberator, crashed. The crew of 10 perished.
A villager found remnants from the plane and crew in 2001.
Teams excavated the site for a year. Using medical, dental and enlistment records, forensic anthropologists and DNA, the 10 bodies were matched.
Grady will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be announced.
• On June 27, 2006, 61 years after his death, Cpl. William Mohr was finally laid to rest at Arlington.
Mohr, of Saginaw, was 20 years old, serving with the U.S. Air Force in World War II, when his crew’s plane disappeared over the island of Papua New Guinea, in October 1944.
His family heard no more until December 2005, when his brother, Dennis Mohr, received a phone call that the remains of his brother and the crew were found on the island. They were then brought back to the United States for burial.