The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of three U.S. servicemen, missing from World War II, have been identified and
will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are 2nd Lt. John F. Lubben, of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; Sgt. Albert A. Forgue, of
North Providence, R.I.; and Sgt. Charles L. Spiegel, of Chicago, Ill.; all U.S. Army Air Forces.
They will be buried on April 18 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men in their hometowns
to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military
honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
On Dec. 12, 1944, these men crewed an A-20J Havoc aircraft departing from Coullomiers,
France to bomb enemy targets near Wollseifen, Germany. The aircraft was last seen entering a
steep dive near Cologne, Germany. Several searches and investigations of this area and reviews
of wartime documents failed to provide information concerning the incident.
In 1975, a German company clearing wartime mines and unexploded ordnance near
Simmerath, Germany reported the discovery of a gravesite northeast of Simmerath where
American servicemembers were buried. U.S. officials evaluated the remains and determined they
represented three individuals, but they could not make identifications at that time. The remains
were subsequently buried as unknowns in the Ardennes American Military Cemetery in Neupre,
In 2003, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) was notified that a group of
German citizens had information correlating the three servicemembers who were buried as
unknowns with the crew from the 1944 A-20J crash. Based on that information, JPAC exhumed
the three unknown graves from the Ardennes American Military Cemetery in 2005.
Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence,
scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used
mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.