World War II airmen remembered
September 29, 2011
A full military honors burial service for nine Army Airmen from World War II was held at Arlington National Cemetery Sept. 21. The airmen, crew from a B17 Flying Fortress, were shot down in Papua, New Guinea, in 1943. Some of the remains were recovered from New Guinea after World War II and buried as "unknown" at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Additional remains were recovered at the crash site by the Army in 2001. Because not all remains from the crash could be linked to individual servicemembers, what was recovered was placed in a single casket with the crew buried as a group. The crew members represented at the burial service include: 1st Lt. William J. Sarsfield, Jr., 2nd Lts. Herman H. Knott, Francis G. Peattie and Charles E. Trimingham, Tech. Sgts. Robert L. Christopherson and Leonard A. Gionet, and Staff Sgts. Henry Garcia, Robert E. Griebel and Pace P. Payne. The lone survivor of the crash, retired Lt. Jose Jolguin, a former Japanese prisoner of war, was instrumental in helping recover the remains of his lost colleagues.