This book documents the search for my MIA brother Eugene F. Darter, who, just after meeting his baby brother on a pillow, flew off to Nazi-occupied Europe and vanished on his first bombing mission over Germany. My investigation began with a random Internet search on his fifty-seventh birthday on January 3, 2000, that quickly resulted in the miraculous discovery of one of his crewmates who found him badly shot and collapsed in a pool of blood in their shattered and burning B-17. Along the path of discovery were some amazing miracles, including discovering his surviving crew and their families, what happened to his two other MIA crewmates, pieces of his bomber on the beach a few days before a long planned memorial, and most importantly, eyewitnesses who saw crew members captured by the Nazis on a Dutch island. However, the greatest discovery was an eyewitness who saw an American airman come down through the fog and splash down into the sea, crying for help, but then carried away by the fierce wind farther out into the freezing sea beyond reach. “Gone with the wind” was his description of the shocking event unfolding in the stormy sea just in front of him.
This book will be of particular interest to many families who have MIAs that number more than eighty-three thousand in America’s wars. There is so much information available today on the Internet, in databases, individual researchers in the US and abroad, and in the National Archives for searching for your beloved MIA. There is also a great deal of assistance from the US government, who has many teams in the field every day searching, finding, identifying, and bringing home our hero MIAs.