Three Servicemen To Be Buried With Full Honors
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)
announced Friday the remains of three US servicemen, missing from
World War II, have been identified and will be returned to their
families for burial with full military honors.
They are 2nd Lt. John F. Lubben, of Wisconsin Rapids, WI; Sgt.
Albert A. Forgue, of North Providence, RI; and Sgt. Charles L.
Spiegel, of Chicago, IL; all US Army Air Forces. They will be
buried on April 18 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington,
Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these
men in their hometowns to explain the recovery and identification
process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf
of the Secretary of the Army.
On December 12, 1944, these men crewed an A-20J Havoc aircraft
departing from Coullomiers, France, to bomb enemy targets near
Wollseifen, Germany. The aircraft was last seen entering a steep
dive near Cologne, Germany. Several searches and investigations of
this area and reviews of wartime documents failed to provide
information concerning the incident.
In 1975, a German company clearing wartime mines and unexploded
ordnance near Simmerath, Germany, reported the discovery of a
gravesite northeast of Simmerath where American servicemembers were
buried. U.S. officials evaluated the remains and determined they
represented three individuals, but they could not make
identifications at that time. The remains were subsequently buried
as unknowns in the Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre,
In 2003, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) was
notified that a group of German citizens had information
correlating the three servicemembers who were buried as unknowns
with the crew from the 1944 A-20J crash. Based on that information,
JPAC exhumed the three unknown graves from the Ardennes American
Military Cemetery in 2005.
Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and
circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces
DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the
identification of the remains.