Chaumousy par Girancourt
September 8th, 1945.
Mr. Germain Carpentier,
In answer to your letter, I am sending you a few details concerning the airplane accident, in which lieutenant Peter Biollo was a victim, on the 29th July 1944.
His plane was chased by a German plane for about fifty kilometres, (about 31 miles). It ell to the earth in the forst of Renauvoid; a little hamlet about twelve kilometres (about 7½ miles) from Epinal. Epinal is the chief town of Vosges. The hamlet of Renauvoid is a part of Chaumosy parish, therefore, the burial of the five victims took place in the Catholic cemetery of Chaumousy.
The fall of the airplane and the explosion of its bombs drew immediately, all the people to the place of the accident. The Germans forbade the people to go near, as two bombs had not exploded. There was no fire, no burning. Four bodies were identified. One was Mr. Peter. The fifth could not be identified as it was head-less and no identification ticket was found. The sixth victim escaped death – Caught in his parachute, in the branches of a tree, he was taken down, made prisoner by the Germans and treated for a broken leg, at the military hospital of Golbery, a few kilometres from here. Each victim was placed in a casket. The funeral took place on July 31st 1944, in the Church of Chaumousey, in the afternoon.
A very large, recollected number of people formed the funeral processio of these heroes, whose caskets were covered with flowers and in spite of the interdiction of the Germans, this big crowd went to the cemetery and joined in the final prayers at the graves.
I can assure you, that these graves are constantly covered with flowers and at each patriotic and religious feast, the parishioners with their pastor, visit them, thus replacing as far as they can, the families that are sorrowing, far away.
All these graves have crosses. The photos enclosed were taken before the crosses were erected.
You will find at the side of this page the place of each of these five graves, in the order they follow in the cemetery. Perhaps these details will be appreciated by other grief-stricken families.
Kindly express my sincere sympathy to the family of Mr. Peter Biollo.
(signed) M.J. Mercier
(This is signed by the parish priest of Chaumousey)
Abbe Albert Mercier
Cure de Chaumousey
[Editor’s note: Transcription provided by the collection donor.]