A period Chicago Times (long gone) newspaper article with the headline - Army lists 90 of Area Slain in Action. Both 2nd Lt. James J. Ruzicka and 2nd Lt. Peter P. Igoe have their photos published. Published December 15, 1944.
I have a hard time imagining what it must have been like on the American home front in late 1944. Look at all these brave men who perished! And this was just the Chicago area. I can't determine exactly the time-period that these deaths cover - One month? Two Months? The only clue comes in the opening paragraph where the words:
"Ninety Army men were listed as killed in action and one merchant marine seaman as missing TODAY in casualty reports of the War and Navy Departments."
Not much of a clue but I take the word TODAY as meaning the date of this article's publication - 12/15/1944. That is, the casualty report was issued "today". What time period it spans is not mentioned. Perhaps in those times it was common knowledge among the American civilian population what time-period these casualty reports covered. That is, everyone knew that they covered a month, or a quarter (3 months) or some other known time period. But by any measure, a lot of strong, young handsome men were giving their lives to keep the world free from evil.
This article was published exactly one month after Robert Fox wrote a letter to my Grandma Mamie. And five weeks after my Grand Uncle JB McKeon was writing letters to the mothers of other crewmen expressing wistful hopes that perhaps Peter was still alive. This news article must have erased all doubt of his death.
When I visited Peter P. Igoe's grave in the Brittany-American Cemetery in June 2017, I was flooded with a powerful sense of history, fate and the finality of the sacrifice of so many brave men. As I gazed upon the row-upon-row-upon-row of white crosses and the occasional Star of David or Muslim Crescent, I thought to myself: These men are truly at peace. Their brave sacrifices saved the world and here they rest, in eternal honor.
Having spoken with a few Kaspshak relatives back in May of 2017, prior to visiting France, I knew that Mrs. Anna Kaspshak, Edward's mother paid to have her son's remains flown back to the United States for burial. She did this back in the time period of WW II. They even sent me a few photos of 2nd Lt. Edward Kaspshak's grave in New Jersey. I will ask them for permission to post those photos.
Our family has the strong feeling that Peter Phillip Igoe is buried right where he belongs - in the beautiful hills and valleys of the Brittany region of France, resting besides his brave compatriots in eternal rest. We could, if desired, arrange to have his remains returned to say, Illinois. Even at this late date. We choose not to disturb his rest.
God Bless, Uncle Pete.
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...
Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by flak and crashed into English Channel in B-24 Spare Parts #4129350