Historian seeks information on downed airman

Published 10:31 am Friday, September 4, 2009

Hello, I’m Philippe Vanderdonckt from Belgium and I do research on a B-24 Bomber crew downed over Bucharest on April 4, 1944.

I built a Web site in honor of this crew of young men who fought and died for our freedom here in Europe. The site can be visited at

http://users.skynet.be/2ltmalrait_gilbert/indexE.htm .

Email newsletter signup

On this crew that day was also T/Sgt. John Belcher from Ironton. He was very badly injured and died of his wounds seven days later in an hospital in Russe, Bulgaria. All that I found until now can be seen here on his tribute page:


Now what I’m looking for is to find family or anyone who knows more on this young man. I know it is 65 years later but you never know.

He had two brothers, Stanley and Thomas Belcher. Also two sisters Frances and Mary Belcher.

Hopefully there will be someone of the Belcher family in Ironton who will read and contact me for information on T/Sgt John Belcher.

I saw that his obituary was published in The Ironton Tribune on August 18-19, 1948 .

I found a daughter of Thomas Belcher but they have nothing kept of him so I thought I would try it this way.

My e-mail address is ph.vanderdonckt@skynet.be. I hope someone can help me on this research.

There must be still family who live in Ironton. I must only find them. It is difficult for me because I must work from here in Belgium but thanks to internet I have found very much information and made good contacts with other families of this crew members.

Philippe Vanderdonckt, Belgium