The second part
of our tribute to Theodore came while we were at sea on our cruise. I wrote to the Captain of our ship, the
Noordam, and asked if he would let me know when we would be near the
coordinates of Theodore’s crash. He
called me and told me it would be at 11 PM on the day we left Palermo for Naples – believe it or not, it was Memorial
Day! It could not have been a better
time if I could have planned it that way.
arranged for the chaplain on board and the Security Officer to meet us that
evening and take us to one of the lower decks for a brief service of
remembrance. The florist had made a
bouquet of lovely white roses and lavender asters for me to toss
overboard. The chaplain offered a Psalm
and a prayer and I said a few words about Theodore. Because it was Memorial Day, we both included
all other service men and women who have given their lives in the service of
their country. Then the minister blessed
the flowers and I tossed them out in the direction of the place where Theodore
is at rest in the Lord. My mission was
to Right: Two dinner mates, Jane (center with bouquet),
Rev. Doyle, and George Ferko on board the ship, Noordam,
before tossing flowers near where Theodore Balk's B-26
when down 63 years prior.
Note: While at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, Jane photographed the grave markers of
the six men from the 320th that are known to be buried there. The
320th B.G Reunion Association expresses
the most sincerest of thanks. The
men listed can also be found on the memorial section of the site.
Click on the individual names for the grave marker photos
and more detail.
William C. Barron
William T. Burg
Elmer F. Feige