Eckard Munsch Jr.
387th Bomb Group, 559th Bomb Sqaudron
"The real story for our family began after the crash. My grandmother was so distraught over losing her youngest son that she bombarded the War Department, Federal Government, Red Cross and anyone else that she could reach trying to find his body. She finally took an old European map and drew a circle around the area where the war was being fought that day and wrote to all the postmasters in every village asking that her letter be posted on the wall. She wanted to know if anyone saw any crashes that day. The amazing thing was that the head schoolmaster of Bourcy, Belgium answered her letter. He helped her find the crash site. I have all of the letters. They are in French.
One of the letters is in German and it is from the Burgermiester of Junkerath. The plane landed 100 meters from his house. He described the crash and said they buried the bodies in the back yard until the battle was over. Then they took them to the local Catholic Cemetery. Finally the Americans took them to Luxembourg. They were finally buried at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. I was six or seven by that time and remember the funeral.
My grandmother corresponded with the schoolmaster for several years. She was so thankful for his help that she sent them blankets, sewing patterns, food, coats and anything else she could find. She helped them survive the turmoil after the war.
No one in the family knew that she was sending those letters. I found them in a trunk several years after she died. She was quite a woman.
I visited Bourcy, Belgium last year and went to the school. They were interested in those letters because the schoolmaster, Mr. Wagner described the conditions after the war. I gave them copies so they could put them in the village history. I was going to Belgium again this year and was planning to visit Junkerath. It is just across the border. I still plan to see where that plane went down someday."
Eckard Munsch Jr.
Standing in front of it is the pilot, Mathew J. Pusateri (Buck); co pilot, J. B. Trump (Jim); Harold Ovis (Hot), Robert W. Philp (Squeaky), Eckard Munsch Jr. (Joey), and John R. Robinson (Robbie.) The plane crashed on December 23, 1944, at Junkerath, Germany. J. B. Trunp and Harold Ovis were not flying on it that day. Charles C. Seward Jr, Howard Shweder and William M. Mullican were. All of them died.