Treasured Memories


telegramThe Lowry twins with their father in happier days. Their father died in 1949.  Some believe he died of a broken heart over the loss of his two sons.

My research into the Leopoldville disaster began in 1994. Eventually, I made contact with several hundred families with direct connections to the Leopoldville sinking.  These families shared some of their most treasured memories with me some of which will be posted on this page. The originals of these photos and documents, etc. have since been donated by me to the National Infantry Museum located in Ft. Benning, Georgia or other appropriate military museums. — Allan Andrade Leopoldville disaster author/historian  


The actual Western Union Telegram in the original envelope sent on March 7, 1945 to Pvt. Eugene H. Barwick’s mother, Catherine Harrell Barwick, reporting his death.  Pvt. Barwick’s  parents never again experienced a joyful Christmas.


Local newspaper report of the death of the Borovich brothers.

Bouse, Oren, Kokomo H.S., Kokomo Indiana, 1936

1936 Kokomo Indiana High School Graduation year book for Sgt. Oren A. Bouse with his picture. His body was recovered and after the war returned to the United States.


Pfc. Calvin Glenn Christensen (right) and an unidentified army buddy in a New York City nightclub during early November 1944 shortly before shipping overseas. Pfc. Christensen was one of 3 soldiers from Idaho killed in the Leopoldville disaster. His body was never found.


Local newspaper obituary for Pvt. Nevin H.  Herman.

James Jones #2

Western Union Telegram reporting Pfc. James A.D. Jones from Conneaut, Ohio missing in action.


Pfc. Steven T. Lester from Pharaoh, Oklahoma is pictured with his wife, Mary Ruth, sister, Nellie Lester Keith, her husband, John T. Keith, and Pfc. Lester’s daughters. The photo was taken shortly before he went overseas. His body was never found.


Pfc. Steven Lester’s three daughters, Mary Lee, Linda Ruth, and Rebecca Ann, are pictured at his Pharaoh, Oklahoma memorial service held in 1945.


Lowry Twins graduation photos from their Rostraver High School 1942 year book. The bodies of the twin brothers from Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania were never found.


Pfc. Fred Lebensart from Pomona, California. His body was recovered.

Raymond Martinson_Ragnhild Martinson (mother)

S/Sgt. Raymond B. Martinsen with his mother and an unidentified man. The body of Sgt. Martinsen was recovered and he is buried in Normandy American Cemetery.

Raymond Martinson_Roy Johnson Sept 1940, Seattle

Ray Martinsen with his cousin Roy Johnson in Seattle, Washington in 1940.

Raymond Martinson 2

S/Sgt. Raymond B. Martinsen in uniform.


V- Mail Christmas Greeting dated December 22, 1944  from              Pfc. Ferrel  McDonnell to his family.  His body was never found.

R McVety and parents fall 1944 (1)

Pvt. Robert McVety with his parents in the Fall of 1944. It is believed to be the last photo of him with his parents before shipping overseas. The body of the 18-year-old was never found.


Ray Mohr and his wife Stella were married in 1939. From Laurens, Iowa his body was recovered. He is buried in Laurens Cemetery.


Pfc. Ray J. Mohr from Laurens, Iowa. His body was recovered and returned to Laurens after the war.

Little George Oliver Laws Taylor Wilson

Capt. George E. Plott was an accomplished bear hunter in the mountains of North Carolina.  He is pictured on the far left with with his hunting dogs. Capt. Plott’s body was never found.


T/4 Wilmer C. Poupard (second from left) with unidentified army buddies in a New York City nightclub in November 1944 before shipping overseas.  One of 28 soldiers from Michigan killed in the catastrophe, the body of T/4 Poupard was never found.

return to sender

The families of 66th Division soldiers believed their loved ones would spend Christmas 1944 in the safety of camp in Great Britain. Imagine the shock felt by the wife of Pfc. Joe Quinonez when her last letter to him was returned marked “Deceased”.

SethHSGraduation 001

The High School Graduation picture of T/5 Seth Reed from Herndon, Pennsylvania.


Seth Reed with his then girlfriend, Corinne Klinger,  who he would marry in January 1943. Her brother, 1/Lt. Kenneth H. Klinger, was serving in the army air corps.

Seth & Corine 001

Seth Reed and Corinne Klinger.


Chris S. Klinger at the grave of his uncle, T/5 Seth W. Reed, Normandy American Cemetery, France, August 2014.


Sandra Klinger, Dana Klinger Hoopes, Chris Klinger, Michael Hoopes, Drew Hoppes, Kara Hoppes, at the grave of their uncle T/5 Seth W. Reed, Normandy American Cemetery, France, August 2014.


Pfc. Wilbur Sloan from New Castle, Pennsylvania with his sister, Eleanor, and the family dog.  His body was recovered and returned to New Castle in July 1948.

W.F. Smith newspaper report missing

Newspaper clipping from January 31st., 1945 reporting Pfc. William F. Smith from Bessemer, North Carolina missing. He had been married to the former Ruby Blanche Plumley just over one year and one week. His body was never found.


Pfc. Robert C. Sweet from Erie, Pennsylvania (extreme left) and a group of unidentified army buddies and their dog mascot.  The body of Pfc. Sweet was never found.


Pfc. Frank S. Vogel (extreme right) with two unidentified army buddies in a New York City nightclub during November 1944 shortly before shipping overseas. The body of Pfc. Vogel was never found.


Family photo of Pfc. Jack Watts from Wheelersburg, Ohio. Left to Right – (Father) A. Dewey Watts, (Mother) Ada M. Watts, Pfc. Jack Watts, (Sister) Virginia Watts. His body was never found.


Christmas Tree ornament made by Gaye Willis, niece of  S/Sgt. Waldo Willis to preserve his memory.


Chris S. Klinger & Sandra L. Klinger at The Wall of the Missing, Normandy American Cemetery, France during August 2014 honoring Sgt. Charles E. Ziegler, a friend of their uncle, T/5 Seth W. Reed. Both soldiers were Leopoldville victims.  Seth Reed & Charles Ziegler both lived on the same street in Herndon, Pennsylvania.