Battery Corporal
              Willis S. Cole
            Military Museum

A Non-Profit Corporation, Washington, U.S.A.,

                               Excerpts from the book:

      The Last Flight Of The Lady Jeannette

                                                Willis S. Cole, Jr.
                    ISBN:   0-9662728-0-3

                      A grave's mystery and place

                     Called through time and space

                      For its path to be traced - - -

                      So this grave's man can be graced

                    With name, home and face

                    This book's charge to all must also be
                               now and evermore.


                           This Book Is Dedicated
                            To The One Person
                          Who Made It Possible

        Carol Lorraine Reinbold Cole

                       Perhaps the one thing worse than the
                      "Burden of Wonderment"
                       is being married to one who has it.


    The events I have written about actually happened, A bomber did crash|
on November 9, 1944.  The pilot and co-pilot were both awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor for their attempt to save the life of the
wounded radio operator.  Unknown to them, a fourth man was also
riding to his destiny with the wounded bomber.  Four men died in the
crash of "The Lady Jeannette" that day, the pilot, the co-pilot, the radio
operator and tail gunner.
    To my knowledge the only known documented case of American
soldiers of World War Two, recovering American War Dead and
hiding most of the remains the recovered...  At the time this book was
completed, the United States of America still does not recognize the
existence of the grave.  Even though the French government has
recognized the grave for over 50 years.

    I have told the story, just as it happened to me and I determined it
happened to the men and women I have written about.  I have not only
told the story of the service men involved, but also the story of the
wives and families they left behind on 'the home front.'  The story does
not stop with the death of some of the men or when the war ended, it
follows all the men and their families from the birth of the men to
their destiny today.

Willis S. Cole, Jr.  "Sam"
Member:   Le Souvenir Francais
                 Les Amis De Vauquois
                 Western Front Association,
                 Great War Society
                 The American Legion (Life)
                 452nd Bomb Group Association
                 Veterans Of Foreign Wars (Life)
                 Ninth Air Force Association (Life)
                 Graves Registration-Mortuary Affairs Association
                 109th Evacuation Hospital Association
                 735th AC&W Squadron Association
Chapter One:  The Beginning

    "I picked up a man's face," was Bernard Leguillier's answer to my
    "Yes, I picked up a man's face, it was the face of an American aviator,"
Bernard restated.  The third link to the beginning of this book.
    "When we got to the crash, it was a big hole, about 5 meters deep and
30 meters wide..."
    "The bomber came from the east, flying about 400 meters in the air.
It's right engine was gone and there were flames flowing clear back past
the tail..."
    "It rolled over on its back and started to dive to earth beyond the woods.
Almost immediately it exploded once, some parts broke loose, and it
continued it's dive straight down.  When it hit the earth, it exploded again
very loudly."
     "...the Americans asked all of us to line up in a long straight line from
the hole and to walk in a big circle.  We were to pick up anything that
looked important, such as clothing and pieces of people.  One big door
had broken loose during the first explosion and fluttered to earth.  The
Americans had us put the human pieces we found on the door."
    "During that walk around the crash hole, I picked up a man's face.
It was the flesh starting at the edge of the upper lip, up around the eye
and across just above the eyebrows and back down around the other
eye, down to the lip again.  The eyebrows, eyelids, and nose was
there.  No eyes, just the eyeholes, it was just the skin of the face.  I
put that face of an American flyer on the door."
    This chapter is devoted to how I first began the research that lead to
this book.  In included how I first started going to France and how I
became well enough known by the French of the Somme Region that
a member of the Le Souvenir Francais asked me, on Christmas Eve,
1991, to stop by and visit a grave with a metal plaque that read:

               Aviateur AMERICAIN
        MORT POUR LA FRANCE- en 1943

The above reads:

  American Aviator, UNKNOWN Died For France, In 1943
Chapter Two:  The Beginning Of The Search

   Tells about the start of the search and the experiences I had while
visiting with French families during Christmas, 1991.  It will inform
the reader who has never visited the World War One lines of France
about some of the things one might see and do there, such as becoming
good friends of some of the people of France.

Most of all, I had a new passion.  A passion to identify the Unknown
American Aviator, who died in 1943, for the Liberty of France.  One
who lies in a grave at Cartigny, France, in a grave marked:

                                  Aviateur AMERICAN
                                  MORT POUR LA FRANCE  EN 1943

My quest had started, for on that last day Bernard called and told
me the first of the 'Legends' of the grave.
Chapter Three:  The Legends Of The Grave

                          The grave at Cartigny, France,
                                as I first saw it.

       A short chapter telling of the local Legends as to how the grave
came to be in the Cemetery of Cartigny.  It also tells of many places
to visit in France, if you are interested in World War One.

...that a farmer walked out of his home one morning and when he
looked toward his farm pond in the distance, he saw birds diving down
to the surface and back up.  As it was the wrong time of year for the
birds to be feeding on insects in the pond, this did not seem right and the
farmer walked to the pond to see what the birds were feeding on.
When he arrived at the pond, he saw the birds diving at something
floating in the water and after finding a limb he pulled the floating
object to the side.  As he pulled, he realized that he had hooked onto
what was left of a human floating in the pond...
Chapter Four:  And then, I though it would be easy!

    The story of my attending the 50th Anniversary of the Normandy
Landings' as a COMMEMO-RANGER and how it lead to the finding
of a Priest's statement that told of the origin of the grave,

American Unknown
Cartigny Cemetery, Military Tombs

    It is not an American Soldier but only human remains that came from
or several American Soldiers.
    These remains were brought by a U.S. Military Car and buried by the
people who were in this car in a field along the road to Peronne, at a
very small distance from Cartigny.
    As the remains were not buried very deep in the ground, they were soon
discovered and after an agreement between the French Police and the
American Army was reached, the remains were taken to the cemetery
in Cartigny on November 23, 1944.  They were placed near the French
Soldiers killed in 1941 and on top stands a wooden cross, just like the
French one, bearing the inscription:

                                            U. S. Soldier
                                       23 November 1944

    A few days before all this took place (night between 9th and 10th
November, 1944) a large American bomber (Fortress or Liberator)
crashed near Tincourt:  People were killed.  It is thought that these
remains belong to one or several of the people killed.
However, these human remains could be parts of human bodies
that could have undergone operations in a campaign hospital and
that the head nurse would have buried near Cartigny to hide them.

Etienne Serpette, CURE  (Copied and certified by current Mayor of Cartigny)
    With the reception of this statement, I though I knew exactly the
bomber it was discussing.  The bomber where Bernard Leguillier
picked up the man's face.

The excerpts are being added to, as time permits

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