On December 26, 1944, First Lieutenant Robert G. Fenstermacher Jr. passed away in an aircraft crash around Petergensfeld, Belgium and Roetgen, Germany. He was deemed Missing In Action (MIA) then switched to Killed In Action (KIA), yet no body was found. Fenstermacher's body was fully recovered on April 30, 2013 and was buried in Plot 60, Grave 10353 of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on October 18, 2013.
The picture to the left is a photograph of Fenstermacher's grave in Arlington and the Arlington Cemetery. Arlington is the biggest military cemetery in America and estate previously owned to bury first President George Washington and used as a strategic location during the Civil War before becoming a national cemetery officially in 1864 by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
Fenstermacher was awarded many medals, including the:
- Purple Heart- given to soldiers who showed sacrifice and were killed/wounded by enemies while serving in the U.S. Military
- Air Medal (with nine oak leaf clusters)- awarded to U.S. civilians and soldiers for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight and foreign military personnel in actual combat in support of operations
- American Campaign Medal- personnel who consecutively served between December 7, 1941 to March 2, 1946 within the U.S. or 30 consecutive days/60 non-consecutive days outside the U.S. borders but within the American Theater
- Europe/African/Middle Eastern Campaign Award- personnel in World War II that served in the European Theater
The images on the right are of the Purple Heart Award (top-right), and Fenstermacher's certificate for his Air Medal Decoration (bottom-right).
Robert George Fenstermacher Jr. was a daring and selfless pilot. In his time serving in the war overseas and at home, he risked his life and eventually gave it away to save others and fight for the American Ally mission. The young man that joined the forces at 20 gave everything up in his life to serve his country in the aerial forces and he will never be forgotten for his brave sacrifice. When he died on December 26, 1944, he not only helped defeat his enemies, he saved his fellow soldiers and citizens of America. We remember the young soldier who willingly gave up his life for the freedom of others. As we look at the nation's flag and recite the national anthem, the American people hold Fenstermacher and others like him in our hearts forever.
A photograph of First Lieutenant Fenstermacher's funeral on October 18, 2013 in Arlington National Cemetery. Below is the link to the funeral video and short eulogy from Fenstermacher's great nephew.
Image on the Left: Scanned page of Central High School's WWII Memorial Book (1949) with Fenstermacher's name the third to last.
A picture of Fenstermacher's memorial in the Wall of the Missing, Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, Limburg, Netherlands.