Buried on the Battlefield? Not My Boy: The Return of the Dead from World War Two

Buried on the Battlefield? Not My Boy: The Return of the Dead from World War Two

by William L Beigel


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This is the forgotten story of the American World War II dead. Told from personal family letters, official documents, contemporary magazine and newspaper articles, historical research, and previously unpublished photographs, this is the first book to fully describe the return of the valiant dead to America after World War II, in tribute to those who gave their lives, as well as to those who mercifully brought them home.

Few people know that the United States was the only nation to bring home our war dead after World War II. The bodies of America’s fallen were removed from foreign graves across the globe, often years after they died. More than 280,000 were recovered, leaving that number of American families with an agonizing choice: return their beloved sons to the homeland, or let them rest in military cemeteries overseas in the countries they died to liberate.

Some of our allies were strongly against the idea, fearing their citizens’ reactions to not being able to bring home their own sons. But it was done because American families demanded it: not as a collective, organized effort, but one family – one father, mother, widow, or sibling – at a time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733612500
Publisher: Midnight to 1 Am
Publication date: 05/16/2019
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

William L. Bill Beigel, M.A., is a historian, speaker, author, and researcher, specializing U.S. military service records from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Wars.

Bill s book describing the Return of the World War II Dead Program of the United States is his first published book. His research work is referenced in a number of books and publications, notably, Youth, the First Victim of War, by Paul Edlund, the sole survivor from a downed B-24 crew. He also publishes a blog with stories and photos of the heroic men and women he researches.

Bill learned first-hand the difficulty of learning about the lives, deaths, and military experiences of World War II veterans and casualties, when it took nearly a year to research a member of his own family in 1999. Families rarely knew what happened to their loved ones who served or died in World War II, and for most families, those questions remain unanswered to this day. As a lover of both history and research, Bill set out to assist other WWII veterans families in finding the answers to their own unsolved family mysteries. To date, Bill has researched more than two thousand veterans and casualties for well over a thousand individuals, families, communities, and institutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Almost weekly, Bill receives emails from clients describing how his research has impacted their families.

Bill s work has been featured in numerous television, radio, newspaper, and online media outlets, including Fox News, CBS News, USA Today, and The New York Times, as well as print and online history magazines. Bill tours the country, lecturing and offering workshops at conferences, museums, schools, for genealogy groups, and at other venues. Bill donated a large collection of his research on members of the 8th Air Force to the American Air Museum in Duxford, England. He spent more than ten years researching nearly three hundred students and alumni from his alma mater, UCLA, who were killed in WWII. He is the official researcher for the Kwajalein MIA Project, which seeks to locate missing members of the US Navy during WWII who crashed in the Kwajalein Atoll so that their remains can be brought home.

Bill Beigel holds a BA in History and a Masters in Geography, both from UCLA. He lives in Redondo Beach with his wife, Dawn, his college sweetheart. Bill and Dawn have successfully raised to fabulous humans a son and a daughter. For more information, please visit ww2research.com.

To book Bill as a speaker for your conference or event, write to speaker@ww2research.com.

Table of Contents





Chapter 1: Tell Me About My Boy

Chapter 2: Returning American War Dead from Previous Overseas Wars

Chapter 3: America and the Scope of World War II

Chapter 4: Britain and the Problem of America’s World War II Dead

Chapter 5: The Red Army

Chapter 6: “Every Possible Scientific Means”

Chapter 7: Hearts and Minds

Chapter 8: The Mortuary Industry

Chapter 9: The American Gold Star Mothers

Chapter 10: Preparations

Chapter 11: The War Dead Return


Introduction to Part II

Chapter 12: The Mystery of Swen Zetterberg

Chapter 13: The Soldier’s Guide to Sicily

Chapter 14: The Missing Bolo

Chapter 15: The Puka Puka Parade

Chapter 16: The X-Men of St. Laurent Sur Mer

Chapter 17: The GI Who Bleeds and Dies for His Country

Chapter 18: “Fire and Dingoes”

Chapter 19: Friendly Fire

Chapter 20: From Tuskegee to Hungary

Chapter 21: “Very Little Activity Other Than Patrolling”

Chapter 22: The Sons of Tessie Fast


PART III: Image Gallery


About the Author

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