Bill’s blog archive: Daily Posts


I'm the last of my father's family...there is no one left to answer my questions.

Hi Bill, I hope all is well with you. I received the latest mailing from you and am so thankful for your research on the history of my Uncle Charles [2nd LT Charles W. Shedden]. I guess as in most families, WW 2 events were not talked about. Thus, I never knew the history of Uncle Charles's military service and events surrounding his death. Seeing how I'm the last of the Shedden family, there is no one left to supply answers to questions I had. You have supplied answers to many of those questions. I now have a time line of his landing in France up to and including the events leading to his death. Please find attached a picture of the cross on his grave at the American cemetery at St. Laurent, France. A friend of a friend located his grave on a visit there a few years back and kindly took the picture for me. I fully plan on a trip over there, hopefully sooner than later. Bill, I was wondering what the procedure is for getting a replacement Purple heart medal? Maybe you could point me in the right direction. Again Bill, Thanks for your diligence on this project. Very best regards, Chuck

Jim Considine, Los Angeles, CA

Bill, I was not aware of your book about the military dead. Several years ago, I requested a report on the only KIA from my father's crew. I was flabbergasted at the amount of work, correspondence, and logistical details of bringing the remains of a fallen serviceman home. Not to mention the fact that the internet was 50 years in the future. One day I hope to see you sitting at Charlie Rose's table! By the way, your website is beautiful ... a real work of art! Jim

Gayle (LTJG Leo G. Boutte)

Dear Bill, I have reviewed my father's papers with much interest and surprise. ...imagine finding a set of his high school transcripts! The information provides a clear path from his decision to join the air corps to his final mission. To learn of all this history is something I never thought would be possible. I wonder if you realize what a service you provide to so many? Thank you. ... With kind regards, Gayle

Debra Simatis (SSGT Swen A. Zetterberg)

Hello Bill, Wonderful to hear from you again.  I will always be grateful you took on our mystery and gave my family some answers.  My mother, Swen’s sister, learned the truth before she passed away and after 60 years of questions.  My uncle’s story was featured in his hometown newspaper a few years ago with the title, “Mystery Solved.” I have 5 pictures I keep in my computer.  Hope this is what you are looking for.  I will send them one at a time starting with this email. I would love to have a copy of your presentation when it is completed.  Please let me know if you are looking for anything else.  If I have it, I will scan and send it to you. Thank you very much, Debra Simaitis, niece of SSGT Swen Arnold Zetterberg (my siblings and I remember him a Uncle Arnold)

Lindy (Thomas Duncan Hall)

Bill - I received your package on my uncle, Thomas Duncan Hall. Thank you so very much for the detailed information. What you provided, letters from my grandmother, burial info, war details, gave me an understanding of the war. I feel like I now know my uncle. I will provide this information to my 30 or so 1st cousins whose parents were either brother or sister to Thomas. You are an excellent historian/researcher and I feel so privileged to know you. Thank you! With gratitude and appreciation, Lindy  

Gail Anderson Stevens

re: PVT Clarence I. Anderson I have enjoyed reading my uncle's file. On October 8th I arranged for a memorial service for Clarence in Tahoma National Cemetary. We had a combo service for my dad Jack Anderson and his brother Clarence. I probably would never have done this if I hadn't read his file. I felt it important for Clarence to have a plaque with his name on it. The Air Force sent about 20 or more representatives and it was a very moving ceremony. Thanks again for your help.

Ben Henry, Del City, Oklahoma

Hello Bill, I received the WW11 Burial Information of Pvt. Clyde W. Henry, my brother yesterday in the mail. I want to thank you so much and I am so grateful to receive this information. It will help me and my 2 brothers and 2 sisters to have some closeure of his death. We are all in our 80's and 90's at this time. Most of this information was never given to us and it is so informative. I have made copies of all these documents and have given to my sisters and brothers. My oldest brother is going on 94 and he stated he was so glad to know this information before he dies. Again Bill, You have done a great job on this information and we are all so grateful to you. May God Bless you and your family. Respectfully Your Friend...,

Ian (US Airmen shot down over Hong Kong)

I first contacted Bill from a B-24 website and realised that he did accurate WWII research. I'm researching, among over subjects, the fate of US airmen shotdown over Hong Kong during WWII. It may a surprise but many Air Force crew were shot down here, some walking out with the help of the Chinese but many were killed or missing in action. The US navy lost around 32 crewmen in one day here. Bill has been vital in my search for data on these men , finding squadron records and the IDPFs for almost every one of these men. Without his professional expertise I would still be floundering trying to get this data. I have met Bill personally on a trip to the States and I am very impressed with him both as an honourable person and his knowledge of the system and subject matter and I recommend Bill without reservation. All the best,

John P. Durborow, Harrisburg PA

A little over two years ago I set out to document the wartime history of my two uncles, Lt. John Durborow, copilot w/ 453rd BG, and Lt. Paul Durborow, navigator w/ 100th BG. Both were KIA over Germany. I had little to work with and although internet savvy, didn’t know where to start. One phone conversation with Bill Beigel quickly enlightened my befuddled predicament. It became immediately apparent to me that he ‘knew his stuff’ and was equally honest and sincere about his mission as well. Our interactions over the last two years have consistently validated my initial assessment. I have received the following: MACR’s, IDPF files, Mission’s Lists and reports. All were delivered as promised and most in greater abundance document-wise than I had hoped for. By contracting for these services I have avoided bureaucratic tangles, taken a greatly appreciated short cut to the information sought, and jump-started my research from a much more informed position. If you want an effective, experienced researcher with fair and reasonable fees, timely communication, and most importantly— RESULTS, you have found your man. Highly recommended.

Mr Rodger Phillips, Glen Mills, PA

My uncle was co-pilot of a B-24 in WWII. He was shot down and killed. I knew nothing else. All of my life, I wanted to know what happened, but did not know how to go about finding out. Now, in my older years, along comes Bill Beigel. Thanks to you Bill, I now know more than I could have imagined; details of the crash, his temporary interment in Europe, and a complete list of all his personal belongings. There are even handwritten letters from my Grandmother to the US Army pertaining to my uncles personal belongings to be shipped home and of course his body for burial here at home. If only I had known Bill Beigel earlier, before my father died. He always wondered what happened to his brother. I found out too late for my Father, but what an incredible, satisfying experience for myself and my siblings. Thanks again Bill for a great job, well done.

Mary Fran Sweetall Sciulli (SFC Donald W. Sweetall)

Hi Bill, Received the parcel today on my brother, SFC Donald W. Sweetall; thank you very much. I have read every page of it, and I have been burning up the wires state to state with my siblings, sharing the information with them. We've all shed a few tears in his memory, but it has answered some questions for sure. Is there any chance of getting a list of his "group?" There must be a breakdown somewhere of his company and then the groups within that company ... or however they designate and divide. I am not familiar with how that works. I am most appreciative of the copies of documents you have provided. Heard there is some kind of a Korean War Vet reunion at Camp LeJune (sp? ) this Thursday. Just heard about it, so I am going to call there and see if I can get any contact names to post a request to see if anyone there would have known my brother. Thanks again for everything. Will try to pass your name on to others with a good recommendation. Blessings,

Donna Gilligan

Hi Bill, Sorry it took so long to get back to you re: my report on Karl Eckert. I did receive it a couple of weeks ago and was very pleased with the info you were able to gather. I shared it with my mother and she was very intered in what you were able to find. All she had were a few old stories but the info you sent confirmed those and also shed some new light on them. I thank you very much for the great job you did. It really means alot to us and I'm sure to many others that you have helped. Keep up the great work!

Loren Grano

Hi Bill, Just a quick note to let you know because of your research I was able to find Loren's daughter Carolyn I spoke to her today wow! what a time we had she never knew that someone was named after her father we plan to get together this September when Iam in Florida. I also, had the opportunity to speak with his last surviving sister who still lives in S. California.Anyway Thank you very much,This has been a 20 year goal and I have finely fulfilled my goal With your help. Thanks again,

Keith Haynes

Bill, I just want to say thank you so much for all the hard work that must have went into obtaining this much information. I was not expecting so many details. When you told me how much it was going to cost and how long it would take, i wasnt real sure if it was worth all of that. Now that i have this package, i would have paid double and waited alot longer! This information just cant be found by looking around on the web. I have told others of your work and now i dont have to do so much explaining. I cant wait to share this with my friends who have had family members KIA during WW2. Please feel free to post my comments on your web page. To all who are no more! Sincerely,

Hall Starnes (SSGT Fowler)

Dear Bill, Great job on SSGT Fowler’s records. Rec’d your mailing last Thursday. Gave to Claude unopened Thursday nite. Got to look at it myself just a few minutes ago at his house nearby. Your cover summary sheet describing what was contained in each section was key to our being able to understand what the documents contained and absorb their meaning. The details show to what lengths our military went to honor our dead and surviving families. Made me feel very good about that. Reminded me how I felt when my 1st Air Cav unit got steaks brought in and cooked on site --- and ice cream, though pretty soft, brought to us in on one special log day. I remember feeling thankful for mosquito dope effective on mosquitos and also removing leaches. Claude and I both thank you and appreciate so much your research that has shed light for Claude on events surrounding his father’s death during combat in WWII and return of SSGT Fowler’s remains to the U.S. Claude will making a trip to Cleveland, AL soon to visit his father’s grave site. Best regards,


Bill, Today I received the file for my brother. You did an excellent job of putting it all together, and it was full of personal moments for me. I had heard that he was killed instantly, but now it is confirmed. What strikes me the most is not only the detail provided, but the mass of correspondence for one soldier. I saw the painstaking letters and time it took, not only on the part of my Dad, but how the Army handled it with dignity and a deep concern for the loved ones. I've been to St. Laurent-sur-mer two times, and I know that my parents were there twice also. It is a beautiful resting place and a more than fitting memorial to those who gave their lives for our country. I will treasure these documents, share them with my children and appreciate all of your fine work. I am pleased that I began this search. Best regards,


Hi Bill, Your packet arrived today and I've spent the past few hours reviewing it with Bonnie. Your analysis is a key to a lot of locks. More of Bonnie's memory was triggered about her Uncle George's reburial in Midland, and I have a specific location (the barrio Capintalan) to begin helping me place Uncle George's death in the overall context of the battle, both on the day he was killed and in the interim until his remains could be recovered. Your surmise of very fierce fighting in the area is without a doubt an accurate one. From what I know so far, he certainly was in the thick of it. The personal details were a little painful for Bonnie, but we were prepared for that, and she adds that you did a "wonderful job." I believe the family was provided few, if any details of George Smith's death at the time, either that or they were forgotten. But even his brother (Bonnie's father) misremembered George Smith's assignment. (He thought he was a paratrooper, not an infantryman.) Anyway, your work has cleared up much misinformation and provided at least some understanding of what actually happened to Uncle George, so we're both very grateful. You delivered everything you said you would, and more. I'll be working with this and other materials I've uncovered for some time, so if there are any other routes of inquiry you could recommend, I'd be open to discussing additional avenues of research services you might consider worthwhile. For now, I'll just say thanks. It's brought a lot of meaning to all of this for all of us.

Terry Moehnke

Bill, I received the envelope yesterday. Thank you for your assistance in finding this information on Gordon. It is humbling to read the records and I can't imagine the pain the families went through. It appears the government handled these cases with respect and made sure the families were well informed about the process. Reviewing the paperwork made me appreciate the amount of work it must have taken to keep all of the details in line. Hopefully utilizing your work product will help my family remember Gordon and honor him. His death was extremely hard on the family according to my mother and she still recalls the services at the cemetery when he was finally laid to rest in Rochester. I think it is important to keep his memory alive since all we have had is a name on the Olmsted County Veterans Memorial. I am slowly putting together some of the experiences he went through at an early age and your assistance has contributed greatly to my project. Thank you again for your help and keep up the good work.


Hi Bill, Picked up Lloyd Anderson's record today at the post office. Fascinating and detailed right down to dental and medical records. I couldn't put it down 'til I went thru it. Again, heartfelt thanks.

Felton McAfee

I have briefly read over the information and am extremely pleased with what you provided. I am now reading it in detail but thought I should let you know that it did arrive. If you would like to use me as a reference in the future I would be honored to provide you with a very positive reference. If I have any additional questions I will let you know. Thank you so much for your excellent work.

Brad Jones, Manhattan Beach, CA

Bill, I received the additional documents. Thank you very much for these and the previous file you sent me. My family has gone through all of it, and my 86 year old mother has been particularly interested in it. Lt. Jones was my father's brother, and my father passed away in 2006. It's a great service you provide.

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