On Veterans Day Saturday, special graveside services will be conducted for PFC Philip G. Kaufman, who died while serving his country in World War II.
Members of AMVETS Post 115 in Port Hope and the American Legion in Harbor Beach, along with the Rev. Gregory Eilers of St. John’s Lutheran Church, will participate in the graveside services followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of TAPS.
“Well, we are doing this for the Kaufman family,” said Doug Davis, AMVETS Post 115 member. “You see, his actual body is in Europe. He died in WWII at the age of 25.”
Official records indicate the remains of PFC Philip G. Kaufman were recovered and permanently interred in Netherlands American Cemetery in Margarten, Holland, Plot C, Row 6, Grave, 15. The cemetery covers more than 65 acres with pristine white marble crosses marking the graves of more than 10,000 veterans of WWII.
“My folks chose to leave him with his comrades, buried with his comrades,” said Mabel Brining.
Brining, 82, Nathan Kaufman, 81, and Norma Johnson, 80, all of Port Hope, are the remaining siblings of PFC Philip G. Kaufman. Their parents were the late Albert and Mary (Phillips) Kaufman.
PFC Kaufman had served most of his military time stateside, until he was deployed to Europe prior to December 1944.
“He entered the infantry tank division, then he went to the air corps in Wisconsin,” said Nathan Kaufman. “Then when they needed men, they mustered him out of the air corps and put him in the infantry.”
PFC Kaufman was 25 when he died Jan. 13, 1945 along with more than 19,000 Americans during what some have referred to as the bloodiest battle of WWII.
That battle began Dec. 16, 1944 when the Germans attacked the 106th Infantry Division in the Ardennes Forest located on the German/Belgium border. It ended on Jan. 25, 1945. Statistics show more than a million men, Germans and Allied troops, fought in the battle. The Battle of the Bulge, also referred to as the Ardennes Offensive, received its name from the bulge the Germans achieved in the American line during the first few days of battle.
None of the siblings has visited the grave of their brother in the Netherlands, so they decided to put a headstone in a local family plot to preserve his memory.
“We just want to make a memorial for our brother,” Brining said, “by placing a stone in the Marquardt Cemetery, that is where my grandparents are buried.”
The public is invited to attend the 1 p.m. service at Marquardt Cemetery, located on Moeller Road west of Finkel Road in Port Hope. Joann Yott, Huron Daily Tribune - Bad Axe,MI,USA