Media Coverage of the Luxembourg Crash Site

I had no idea that my December, 2003 visit to Lt. Harold Stalnaker's crash site near Kehlen, Luxembourg would be covered by the major media of the country.  We were treated like visiting dignitaries!

Luxembourg Army Adjutant John Derneden had contacted the mayor of Kehlen to inform him that a local mystery had been solved.  The identity of the unknown American pilot killed while participating in the liberation of their country had finally been uncovered.

Mr. Derneden picked us up at our hotel early the morning of Saturday, 20 December, 2003, and we drove straightaway to the field where Uncle Harold's plane went down.  To our surprise, John had prepared a floral tribute for us to leave at the crash site, complete with an antique American flag he decided to donate from his own collection.  We were touched by his thoughtfulness.

L-R:  Charlie, Raymond Hoffmann, John Derneden, Pauline Hoffmann

L-R: Pauline Hoffmann, Raymond Hoffmann, John Derneden, Charlie

At the site, we were met by Raymond and Pauline Hoffmann.  It was Mr. Hoffmann who had first participated in the excavation of the site back in 1991.  A routine excavation in preparation for laying drainage pipe had revealed the artifacts.  At that time, the engine of the P-47D aircraft was recovered.  Mr. Hoffmann also collaborated with the American CILHI team on their excavation of the site in 2002.

L-R: Pauline Hoffmann, Raymond Hoffmann, John Derneden, Charlie

Raymond Hoffmann, Charlie John Derneden, Charlie The floral tribute to Lt. Harold Stalnaker
Photo courtesy of Raymond Faber,
20 Dec 2003
Photo courtesy of Raymond Faber,
24 Dec 2003
Local newspaper coverage of our visit
Charlie is interviewed by RTL, the Luxembourg media entity Charlie faces the press John Derneden offers the local perspective to RTL

After a personal memorial and tribute to Uncle Harold, we placed the floral arrangement at the site, and then moved on to meet with the Mayor (Bürgermeister) of Kehlen, Joseph Halsdorf.  As we pulled up in John's car, we were stunned to see photographers and TV crews waiting for us on the steps of the Town Hall, accompanied by the Bürgermeister wearing his ceremonial sash in honor of the occasion.

On the linked page, you can learn about the news conference in Kehlen...

Contact me (Charlie Stalnaker)
POB 4907, Laguna Beach, California 92652 USA

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