This is one of the more hardcore cases I worked on: I interviewed 517th veteran Howard Hensleigh in about 2009. At the time he told me about an ambush in the southern France Alps during which two of his men were killed, and the rest escaped. He returned to the place with more men on the same day, this time the Americans ambushing the Germans from behind. In the fight, Hensleigh personaly killed a German NCO. On the body he found several photos, including the NCOs wedding photos. In 2009 Hensleigh still had the photos in his wartime photoalbum.
I decided to try to find out who the KIA German was and contact his family. All I had to work on was the photographers stamp on some of the photos, from Elwangen an der Jagst. I sent letters to the photographer, that still exists, and to the town hall. The photographer replied that all their archives had been destroyed by a flood, while the town hall said they didnt recognise the soldier.
I then decided to find out if any Germans listed as coming from Elwangen were known to have died in southern France where the ambush occured. I found that a Georg Rieck had a potentially matching date and location of death. I once again contacted the town hall asking if the man on the wedding photos could be Georg Rieck. I will let this newsreport tell the rest of the story (as you will see, they didnt report my investigation method how it really happened, making it all sound simpler than it was):
Edited by Jean-Loup, 16 December 2017 - 01:44 AM.