1st Lieutenant Frank Fazekas
US Air Force - WW II
Service Number: O - 798271
22nd Squadron - 36th Fighter Bomber Group
Born: 21 March 1922, New Jersey
Date of death: 7 May 1944 - Age 22 - Buysscheure, France
Status: MIA until 16 August 2017
Tablets of the Missing - Ardennes American Cemetery
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart, American Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal
Son of John and Julia Fazekas. Husband of Theresa F. Yuhas-Nagy and father of Frank Fazekas Jr.
Frank graduated from Trenton Central High School, Trenton, New Jersey in 1940. Entered service on 16 February 1943 from Trenton, NJ and on 31 March 1943 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
24 June 1943: physical exam: Flying time as pilot: 540 hours, as observer: 20, half of it during the past 6 months.
Height: 70 inch
Weight: 172 pounds
In early 1943 during Advanced Fight Training Frank was operating the AT-6 Texan aircraft while stationed at Craig Field, Selma, Alabama. There he married Theresa "Yuhas" Fazekas in March 1943, they had one son, Frank S., born in December 1943.
After his training Frank deployed to Europe and was based in the UK assigned to the 22nd Squadron, 36th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force operating from RAF Kingsnorth, USAAF Station 418, located near Ashford, Kent, England.
The plane was hit by flak on return from mission, the plane crashed with all bombs and exploded on the ground. 27 May 1944 at 1303h. Place of death: corner of Popelier Straete / Route de Watten, Buysscheure, France
Statement by 2nd Lt Charles H. Nott, wingman.
"Lt Fazekas was flying in formation about 10,000 feet. He made a gentle diving turn from his formation. He kept losing altitude and suddenly his ship broke into a tight spiral just before he hit the ground. The ship exploded instantly. He made no radio call and showed no sign of conciousness. There was plenty of time for jumping but the pilot was not seen to make any attempt to do so."
On 31 March 1947 the American Graves Registration held a board meeting at the Astoria Hotel in Paris. The purpose of that Board was to determine recoverability of certain casualties currently being searched for by the American Graves Registration Command, ETA.
The Board reviewed reports of investigation, statements of witnesses and other papers contained in the files; In view of the above findings the Board recommends:
- that the remains of subject / casualty be considered as unrecoverable.
- that no further action to recover the remains be undertaken
Case file was forwarded to the Office of the Quartermaster General in Washington. The decision was approved on 27 May 1947.
Frank was promoted posthumously to 1st Lieutenant on 9th June 1944.
Frank and Theresa in 1943 - 1944
In 2016 and 2017 an excavation was done on the crash site by the University of Wisconsin and the DPAA, the remains of Lt Fazekas were found and a positive ID was made. On 16 August 2017 1st Lt Fazekas was accounted for.
Newspaper articles regarding the excavation:
Wednesday, December 6th 2017, I got the reward for a project that I was involved in since December 2014. The search, the finding and ultimately identifying 1LT Frank Fazekas, 22nd Sqdn, 36th Fighter Bomber Group. Missing in Action since May 27, 1944 and positively identified on August 16, 2017. I had the honor of placing the rosette next to his name on the Tablets of the Missing at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium.
After 73 years ... Frank Fazekas is no longer lost...
DPAA funeral announcement.
Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Frank A. Fazekas, 22, of Trenton, New Jersey, accounted for on Aug. 7, 2017, was buried today, Wednesday March 28 2018, in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C.
Photo's courtesy of DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)
International Press Release, March 26, 2018, the "Frank Fazekas Story"
On the 8th May 2018 a ceremony was held honouring Frank Fazekas, US pilot, crashed in Buysscheure, MIA from May 27, 1944 till August 16, 2017.
In the presence of his son, representatives of DPAA and local dignitaries.
A memorial plaque was placed at the "Monument des Morts" and at the Médiatèque who now will be known as the "Centre Culturel Frank Fazekas"
Friday 17th May 2019 a monument was inaugurated in the town of Buysscheure. The propeller from the plane, the P47, was found during the excavations and now involved in this monument.