Mt. Pleasant News

Mt. Pleasant, IA

03 Jul 1945




Visits Cemetery For World War I Vets

By Frank Miles

Paris (IDPA) -- I was in a party of American Legionnaires led by National Commander Edward N. Scheiberling of Albany, N.Y., who visited Suresnes cemetery for World War I veterans and the Lafayette Escadrille monument here.

Lack of time prevented me from locating all graves of Iowans at Suresnes but I did find those of Roy E. Fairs and Carl E. Gillen, all of the 168th infantry, Rainbow division, and Maurice Friedstrom of the 82nd engineers

To any reader who is a relative, widow or friend of a veteran sleeping at Suresnes, I assure you it is perfectly kept and was untouched by bombs, shells or bullets in recent fighting. The white crosses and stars are clean, the grass well mowed, linden trees neatly trimmed and flowers in bed by the chapel are beautiful.

Commander Scheiberling laid a wreath in the flower bed. He put another wreath of American Legion poppies by the casket of Schuyler Lee in the crypt of the Escadrille monument fulfilling a promise to Mrs. Charles N. Gilbert, Norwich, Conn., the fliers sister and national president of the American Legion Auxiliary.

There was 1,541 graves at Suresnes and 69 stone bivouacs in the crypt. Some, including those of Lee and Raoul Lufberry, are empty because the bodies were never found by the French after fatal aerial clashes. Names of the 68 airmen and battlefields over which they fought are caved into the arch and pillars -- the fields: Dunkerque, Sousnes, Reims, St. Mihiel, Arras, Verdun, Neyon and St Question. Drew and Lufberry and Tyson and Doolittle top the two rows of heroes names. "Peaceful Is Their Sleep in Glory" is the inscribed over the entrance of the Surenes chapel.

Lead car of our convoy was the Pierce Arrow sedan used by General Pershing when he was active as chairman of the battle monuments commission. It was driven by Christ Conant, who used to drive for him. The machine was kept intact in the basement of the American embassy building throughout the German occupation.

Commander Scheiberling occupied the suite in the Ritz hotel Heinrich Himmler had in May of 1944.

Source: Mount Pleasant News, July 3, 1945

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