Monument in France for war hero Kenneth Markley KansasGenWeb Logousgenweb.gif

Monument in France
for war hero
Kenneth Markley



Lincoln Sentinel-Republican, July 17, 2003
He was called Ken Markley. He flew a P-38 Lightening as part of the 367th Fighter Group. ... Other pilots reported seeing his plane going down in flames. This was August 27, 1944. Messages of "Missing in Action" and "Assumed Dead" were received by the family. Later information indicated he died in the crash of his plane which was followed by another story that he had been taken prisoner and the prisoner train was bombed by the Allies, causing his death. ...
In 1949, a soldier was brought home from the French graveyard and reburied in the family plot on a country hillside in central Kansas. A grave to care for brought a sense of peace, and the young pilot, twenty-three years old, has lived in the annals of family history as a legend of bravery. The mystery of his death has always left the saga unfinished. Fifty-nine years later, early last week, an e-mail was sent by a young (thirty-five year old) French history teacher stating the crash had occurred near his village, that he had always been fascinated by the story and with the help of a friend has searched crash sites in the area for the last ten years. One more effort was made to locate family when the time came to prepare a ceremony as they dedicate a Ďsteleí (monument) in Kenís honor in the local cemetery of this little French village. A part of the program will take place on the actual site of his crash. Proof has been presented that the story about the prisoner train was German propaganda and was used in many cases. A packet of material has arrived from France indicating that there were eyewitnesses to the crash and subsequent French action to wrap his body in a parachute and bury him in the local cemetery. The Allies were moving in at the time, and his crash became another incident in the saga of war. Sadly, many Americans were lost during those few days of intense air battles. Three new generations of Markley family young people have been told the story, which never really had an ending until now. Kenís son, who was one month old at the time of his fatherís death, will be present, in France, to participate in the dedication ceremony. ...
Kenneth Markley graduated from Lincoln High School and taught in rural Lincoln before joining the service and going overseas. Kenneth is survived by Wilton and Jean Markley of Lincoln. Kenneth and Wilton were brothers. Kenneth was buried in the Prairie Grove Cemetery in Lincoln County. The dedication of the monument in France will be held Aug. 30, 2003.
Story was provided to the newspaper by June (Markley) Hanneman and to this site by Cheryl Lepisto.

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