Pooler (WSAV) – A memorial service for Captain Albert Schlegel was held at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler Wednesday morning.
Captain Schlegel was killed during World War II and his remains were recently recovered overseas. They were flown to his family at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport Monday night.
A procession from the Anderson Funeral Home in Beaufort began around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning leading to the Mighty Eighth Museum.
Following the memorial, there was a flyover over by four F-15s and one P-51D at the museum.
News 3’s Courtney Cole was there, spoke to some of the people in attendance, and now shares the memorial service in a News 3 military report.
This is a day Perry Nuhn wasn’t so sure his uncle, World War II veteran, Captain Albert Schlegel, would ever have.
But on Wednesday morning, the ace pilot was finally honored at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, for his sacrifice in World War II.
“No one knew what had happened to him, he was just missing. That was on 28, August, 1944. A year later, he was declared killed in action, with no information,” Nuhn said.
A research team later discovered Schlegel was likely killed by Germans.
Now that his remains are back here in the United States, Nuhn—his only living family member—wanted to be sure the community had the chance to pay their respects.
“After 73 years, he’s finally coming home,” said Rick Aaron, a Georgia Patriot Guard who participated in the Capt. Schlegel’s memorial service.
Other members of the Georgia Patriot Guard joined current military service members, and veterans at the Chapel of Fallen Angels to reflect on the legacy of the man they call a hero.
“He does things that we read about in books and watch movies about. This man, at the age of 25, did more than many people will do in a lifetime,” Aaron told News 3.
Vietnam Air Force veteran John Johnson says although he didn’t know Capt. Schlegel’s family personally, it was important for him, along with many others, to be there.
“For me it’s an honor…because I served and I was one of the ones who came back…whole. Many of us who served did not come back. I think the slogan is, ‘all gave some and some gave all’, so I’m here today to honor one that gave all.”
On Thursday, Captain Schlegel will be buried at the Beaufort National Cemetery in South Carolina.
The service will begin at 10:00 a.m.