Meridian Star

New Today

July 23, 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
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Do you think the bulk of the shootings in Meridian are gang related or are being done by youths with no gang affiliation?

Gang related
No gang affiliation
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide