When the Leopoldville troopship was torpedoed and sunk of the 270 bodies recovered 193 were returned to the United States for final interment in local or National cemeteries. The body of Pfc. Robert Stills from Johnson City, Tennessee was returned home in 1948. Pictured is his burial ceremony at Bones Creek Christian Church Cemetery, Johnson City, Tennessee.
Caring for army dead was the responsibility of the Quartermaster Corps’ Graves Registration Service. In 1946 Congress authorized the return of soldiers bodies, at government expense, for burial in the United States. The eventual cost of this task was nearly $191 million. Pictured is the return of the body of Pvt. Joseph G. Lagana from Lattimer mines, Pennsylvania. Article from The Plain Speaker 05/05/1948.
The family of Pfc. Charles E. Jarnagin from Harriman, Tennessee were among the 170,752 families of WWII fallen soldiers who chose this option. Pictured is Harriman Cemetery, Roane County, Tennessee where Pfc. Jarnagin is buried.
The families of 109,866 WWII fallen soldiers elected to leave their loved ones remains buried overseas. The family of Leopoldville casualty Pfc. Earl B. Fox from Ewing, Virginia chose to leave him buried in Normandy American Cemetery, France.
Although the bodies of 493 Leopoldville casualties were never found, many families had a memorial stone placed in a cemetery in their area in order to honor the memory of their loved one. The body of T/5 James P. Kingrey was among those never found. There is nevertheless, a memorial stone to him in Happy Valley Memorial Gardens, Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky.
Pfc. Burl W. Ailey
Pfc. Ailey was from Dandridge, Tennessee. The body of the 18 year old was never found but there is a Memorial Stone in Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church Cemetery, Talbott, Jefferson County, Tennessee.
Pfc. Robert B. Appleman
Pfc. Appleman was from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Although his body was never recovered, there is a memorial headstone for him in Oakwood Cemetery, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
Pfc. Henry Baginski
Pfc. Baginski was from New Jersey. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. The body of the 23 year old is buried in Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly, Burlington County, New Jersey.
Pfc. Charles L. Bush
Pfc. Bush was from Ewing, Virginia. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Lee Memorial Park, Woodway, Lee County, Virginia.
Pfc. Rolland D. Cronk
Pfc. Cronk was from Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania. He was assigned to 2 nd Battalion, Medical Detachment, 262nd Regiment. None of the bodies in his platoon were recovered. Although his body was among the 19 never found, a Memorial stone in his local cemetery was placed in his honor.
Pfc. Michael Debuski
Pfc. Debuski from Morea, Pennsylvania was born on February 22, 1918. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Mahony City, Schuykill County, Pennsylvania. Pictured is the request for his gravestone marker.
Pfc. Allen R. Flurry
Pfc. Flurry from Dennis, Mississippi was born on October 25, 1925. The body of the 19 year old was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Lindsey Cemetery, Tishomingo County, Mississippi.
Pfc. Harold Gilbert
Pfc. Gilbert from Fort Worth, Texas was 22 years old. He was assigned to Company A, Weapons Platoon, 264th Regiment. His body was one of 4 recovered from his platoon. The bodies of 2 soldiers from his platoon were never found. He is buried in Fort Worth’s Ahavath Sholom Cemetery. The American flag that draped his coffin is in the Fort Worth Jewish Archives. The city’s Rubin-Gilbert AZA Chapter is named in memory of Gilbert and Alvin Rubin who also died in WWII.
Pfc. Charles E. Jarnagin
Pfc. Jarnagin was from Harriman, Tennessee. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Harriman Cemetery, Roane County, Tennessee.
Pvt. Robert L. Matwijiw
Pvt. Matwijiw was from Cleveland, Ohio. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Brooklyn Heights Cemetery, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Pfc. Walter F. McVey, Jr.
Pfc. McVey was from New Providence, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Assigned to Company I, 3rd platoon, 262nd regiment, his body was one of 9 recovered. The bodies of 8 soldiers from his platoon were never found.
T/5 Wilbur C. Parks
T/5 Parks from St. Joseph, Missouri was born on January 22, 1913. His body was returned to the United States and buried in Springfield National Cemetery, Springfield, Missouri.
Pfc. George E. Pyles
Pfc. Pyles from New Martinsville, West Virginia was born on June 16, 1914. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Northview Cemetery, New Martinsville, Wetzel County, West Virginia.
Pfc. Harold P. Reeder
Pfc. Reeder was from Colorado Springs, Colorado was born on July 10, 1924. The body of the 20 year old was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Pvt. Herman R. Sexton
Pvt. Sexton was from Kansas City, Missouri. Although the body of the 19 year old was never found, there is a memorial stone in Mount Washington Cemetery, Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.
Pvt. Bulah Smith
Pvt. Smith from Meadow Creek, West Virginia was born on October 18, 1917. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Richmond Cemetery, Raleigh County, West Virginia.
Pvt. Fred A. Vanderpool
Pvt. Vanderpool from Tennessee was born on November 14, 1925. His body was recovered and returned to the United States. He is buried in Ridgewood Cemetery, Carthage, Smith County, Tennessee.