Bill Beigel presents “Return of the WWII Dead” to 300 students at Goodland High School, Jan. 21
On January 21, 2015, WW2 Casualty Researcher Bill Beigel of Torrance, CA, will give a special presentation at a student assembly at the Goodland High School in Kansas. Several students from the high school will participate in the presentation.
Beigel will talk about this program during his presentation, “Return of the WWII Dead: How the demands of American families changed history” with a special segment entitled “Tell Me About My Boy: 2nd Lt. Fred. K Stewart, from Clearwater, Kansas to Germany and Back.”
Beigel’s program incorporates several students – none of whom he has met – into the program, where students will read quotes from letters between families of the fallen, the U.S. War Department, and President Truman. Beigel will also show stunning photographs taken in 1947 and 1948 as thousands of the fallen victors arrived New York and San Francisco harbors.
In 1947, across the United States, hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women made their silent return from World War II. These Americans were the soldiers, flyers, naval personnel and Marines who had met their deaths overseas in the War, and whose remains were being returned, at Government expense, to their next of kin. This effort occurred entirely during the time of Harry S. Truman’s presidency. The “Return of the Dead” program was unprecedented in expense and scope, and remains unique in world history. No other nation returned its dead to the homeland after the War. Yet this story, which occurred from 1947 to 1951, remains a forgotten legacy of the Truman Presidency.
Beigel plans to bring this story to life for the students of Goodland High in the hope that they will not forget, and to honor the generation that demanded the return of their fallen heroes, forever changing the way the nations of the world care for their war dead.
Bill Beigel is an American military casualty researcher, specializing in the records of American servicemen and women who died in active duty in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Bill has researched nearly a thousand fallen service members, providing long‐sought knowledge about the deaths and last acts in wartime of family members, fellow servicemen, entire fighting squads, or a complete list of veterans who served from a community, school, university, or region. Beigel holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and a Master of Arts Degree in Geography, both from UCLA. Bill Beigel is preparing to publish a book on this topic.