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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 21:20

Where were unidentified deceased servicemen buried?

Thu Nov 01, 2018 21:29

Hi all

My name is Nilgiri Pearson. I work for the Member of Parliament for Sudbury in Ontarion, Canada. I have been assisting two elderly relatives find the grave of their brother who was a crewmember on a Canadian bomber which shot down at the end of the WW2. He was MIA, presumed dead but while doing some unrelated archival research they discovered the document I have attached (along with other documentation). It says his body was found by members of the 25th American General Hospital, Tongres, Belgium.

We know he is named on our national war memorial but I was hoping someone might know where they would have buried the body; where would the US Army 25th General Hospital have buried deceased foreign nationals or unidentified soldiers (he was badly burned) which came through their hospital. The family has been greatly affected and are desperate to know. The wound is as fresh as yesterday for them. If there is a chance you could let me know before Remembrance Day, Nov. 11th, so we could tell them in time to remember him, it would mean the world. They are in their 80s and do not have much time left.

I have attached documentation.

You can reach me at


Further info and timeline:

1. March 1945: P/O John Alfred Whitehead MIA over Belgium.
2. November 1945: P/O Whitehead presumed dead.
3. August 1, 1948: The family of P/O Whitehead receives a letter from a man in Hasselt, Belgium, who found his wallet.
4. November 1983: The family seeks clarification from the DoD concerning the whereabouts of their son/brother’s grave.
5. November 2016: To commemorate Remembrance Day, offers free access to its archives; P/O Whitehead’s sisters find a document describing the circumstances of the destruction of the bomber on which their brother was a crewmember. At the bottom, it mentions how the only surviving crewmember heard second-hand that the body of the only crewmember who was unaccounted for had been found by American forces operating in the area.
Letters from DoD - 1945, 1983.pdf
(820.86 KiB) Downloaded 215 times
Newspaper article 1945.pdf
(76.59 KiB) Downloaded 198 times
Death Certificate.pdf
(88.16 KiB) Downloaded 215 times
Document found in 2016.pdf
(97.93 KiB) Downloaded 200 times

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