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James Bernard McKeon was Mary "Mamie" Igoe's brother. She was Pete's mother. He became very involved with tracking down any information he could about the crash of Spare Parts and the fate of its crew.

His prose is crystal clear and right to the point. This is one of the saddest letters we have in our family collection.

He opens by thanking Mrs. Anna Kaspshak for a letter that she sent him. We do not have a copy of this letter. I wish we did. Anna Kaspshak was the pilot's - 2nd Lt Edward Kaspshak - mother.

He succinctly summarizes the known fates of the wounded men, as well as the near-certainty of Peter Igoe's death but seems to have some confusion about the deaths of the other three - Kaspshak, Ruzicka and McCarville.

He then changes into a wistful commentary with an air of resignation twinged with a faintest hope. He writes things like: "we all hope and pray that through some quirk of fate, our four boys may be somewhere, perhaps interned and unable to communicate with us at this time".

Note that this letter is dated November 9, 1944. About 4 months after Spare Parts went down.

McKeon then goes on to recap the crash and the aftermath, which I have to assume, was explained and corroborated by Mrs. Anna Kaspshak in the unseen letter he mentions in the first line of the letter.

But again, he writes some words that breaks my heart: "It may be that the four missing boys, reported killed in action, reached another rubber boat. As you say, your son, Edward, was a good swimmer, - so was my nephew Pete."

This makes me cry. I knew JB McKeon quite well he was my Grand Uncle. My siblings and I always called him "Uncle Jim" growing up. He was actually an artillery spotter in WW I and was gassed and hospitalized. He received a Purple Heart. He was no stranger to war.

He concludes by basically snapping back to what he surely knows is the reality of his brave nephew's death, writing: "...although we are resigned to a certain extent, we have still that one little faint hope."

In the closing line, he writes that he gave this unseen letter from Mrs. Kaspshak to his sister, Mamie Igoe, Pete's mother.

When I read this letter, I get the feeling that as a lawyer, James McKeon had seen and weighed the available evidence of Pete's death. He almost certainly knew the truth.

But, he casts aside all lawyerly logic and writes some soul-wrenching words about "the four missing boys".

Connections

People

  • Thomas Baker

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed into English Channel on 7/18/44 in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350

  • Lawrence Brustrom

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed into Baltic on 7/18/44 in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350

  • Gene Carroll

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed into English Channel on 7/18/44 in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350 POW

  • Robert Fox

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Left Waist Gunner
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed into Baltic on 7/18/44 in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350 POW

  • Pete Giughello

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Tail Gunner
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down by flak and crashed into English Channel on 7/18/44 in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350 POW

  • Peter Igoe

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    Igoe was killed in action on 18 July 1944, during a tactical mission to support the Normandy Invasion. His aircraft B-24 'Spare Parts' #41-29350 was hit by flak and crashed into the English Channel near Granville. Members of the crew reported he was in...

  • Edward Kaspshak

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot
    Killed in Action (KIA) Hit by flak and crashed into Baltic in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350

  • Louis McCarville

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed in to Baltic in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350

  • James Ruzicka

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed into English Channel in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 October 2020 11:13:57 conlogco1 Changes to person associations
Sources

Uploaded by Jim Moore. I own this content.

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2020 15:16:33 conlogco1 Created entry with caption and person associations
Sources

Uploaded by Jim Moore 10/11/2020. I own this content.

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