A Declaration about a “Dead American Flying-Lieutenant”

When I asked for the 293 (Casualty) File for Daniel S. Wilson, this is one of the documents in it. A Graves Registration Team interviewed townspeople who were involved in deciding what would happen to this “dead American Flying-Lieutenant.” No one in the family had seen any of them before.

Schwanberg, July 25th 1946


On the American Airman crashed on February 19th 1945 at the community of SCHWANBERG.

I      Four air planes attacked the railroad station of SCHWANBERG. Approaching the station it touched slightly a telegraph pole. The plane was damaged and crashed approx two kilometers south of the railway station on a forest. The plane was completely demolished.

II.    The removal of the plane was accomplished by a special recovery team of the former German Wehrmacht. A dead American Flying-Lieutenant was found in the plane. This team searched thoroughly him, found the identification tag and identified him. I am not able to give any details on the other personal effects. Probably they were taken away by German Military.

III.  The plane in question was a two engine one.


Signature: Franz HERMANN

Schwanberg, July 25th 1946


On the burial of the crashed American Flying-Lieutenant Daniel S. WILSON, which took place on February 20, 1945.

I     The a/m was buried with his uniform in a wooden casket in the community cemetery of  SCHWANBERG.

II    At the burial were present: Franz MULLER, Inspector   Franz KOCH, Grave-Digger        Franz HERMAN [sic], Secretary of Town.

III  The grave was provided with a wooden cross with the following inscription:

Daniel S. Wilson   12. 2. 1945 [sic]

IV  The burial ceremony was made secretly by the Roman Catholic Priest of SCHWANBERG.


Signature: Franz HERMANN

The burial had been made secretly. . . . You bet I cried.

 Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II is available from Amazon in paperback and ebook, also as an audiobook, narrated by Paul Berge.

It’s also the story behind the Wilson brothers featured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn, Iowa. All five served. Only two came home.


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