McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

July 26, 2013

WWII soldier’s remains return from Germany for W. Va. burial

German man who discovered crash site attends service

MANNINGTON, W. Va. — The remains of a World War II soldier who was killed 69 years ago when his plane went down in Germany have been returned to his home in West Virginia, where he was laid to rest between the parents who never gave up hope that their son would come home.

Sgt. Jerome E. Kiger was 22 years old when his plane went down July 21, 1944. He was buried Sunday in Mannington, W. Va., where dozens of flag-waving well-wishers lined the streets to pay tribute to the fallen soldier returned home.

Kiger's remains were discovered in 2008 by a German man named Markus Mooser, who was walking in a forest and saw a depression in the land that looked like a crash site. It was about 1,000 yards from where officials thought the B-24 Liberator had gone down all those years earlier.

Mooser was present Sunday alongside family members -- most of whom had never met Kiger -- friends and other veterans for the memorial service.

"Jerome took me here from Germany," Mooser said during remarks made at the graveside. "It's a long way, and it's for me an honor. I'm really proud to be here at his funeral, to stay with his family, and I'm very thankful to be invited."

When Kiger's plane went down in 1944, nine airmen were aboard, said Sgt. 1st Class John Oliverio, a casualty assistance officer with the 201st Battalion Field Artillery in Fairmont, W. Va., who has helped the family through the ordeal.

"Sgt. Kiger was the tail gunner and Sgt. (Charles) Marshall was the belly gunner," he added. "The plane got hit and as it was going down, the pilot yelled for everyone to bail out."

But accounts from family indicate Kiger wanted to stay to help his friend, Marshall.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.