The B-24 was downed and crashed, killing all aboard. After recovery, his remains were buried on 16 July 1949 in the Belington Fraternal County Cemetery, Belington, West Virginia.

KRUGER, FRANK HERMAN, JR., Technical Sergeant, # 16045826, USAAF

 

Frank H. Kruger was born on 13 November 1922 in Michigan to Frank H. Kruger (1893-1958) and Mabel (Klock) Kruger (1899-1967) (married 3 July 1919, Bay City, Bay Co., Michigan). Siblings were Dorothy Mabel (Kruger) Blezinski (1919-1997) and Clara Louise (Kruger) Rider (1921-2003).  Living with them in 1930 was his paternal grandmother, Dorothea “Dora” Kruger (1859-    ) (Germany), widow of Herman Kruger (1852-1908). Living with them in 1920 were his maternal grandmother, Mary (Johndro) Klock (1868-1925) (Canada – naturalized) (widow) and maternal aunt, Florence J. (Kruger) Malloy (1901-1981).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Detroit, Michigan, on 2 March 1942. He was trained to maintain and operate the radio equipment on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India and detached to China. On 12 May 1945 a B-24M Liberator, # 44-50252, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 373rd Bomb Squadron, on detached duty with 425th Bomb Squadron, Kwanghan, China, on a mission to bomb the Yellow River bridge. Last radio contact was with the airfield tower at Hsingching, China. The B-24 was downed and crashed, killing all aboard. After recovery, his remains were buried in the Square Lake Cemetery, Lake Orion, Oakland Co., Michigan.

 

His father, born 2 June 1893, served in the U.S. Army during WWI, Private, 160th Depot Brigade, 2nd Battalion, Company 6, from 11 April 1918 to 22 November 1918. He died 11 April 1918 and is buried in the Square Lake Cemetery, Lake Orion, Oakland Co., Michigan.

VAN DER MAATEN, WILLARD EUGENE, Sergeant, # 37487781, USAAF

 

Willard E. Van Der Maaten was born on 18 August 1926 in Alton, Sioux Co., Iowa, to Andrew E. Van Der Maaten (1896-1978) and Christina Elizabeth (Ruisch) Van Der Maaten (1897-1960). Siblings were Hendrine (Van Der Maaten) Brink (1920-2008), Frank Andrew Van Der Maaten (1922-2004), and Lois Jean (Van Der Maaten) Hofmeyer (1927-2001).

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 17 August 1943, resided in rural Orange City, Sioux Co., IA, and described himself as 5’10”, 165 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He noted that he had a birth mark on his left shoulder. He was inducted into the USAAF on 2 December 1943 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.