MAJ Earl R. Kindig, a soldier in the 32nd "Red Arrow" Infantry Division who has been MIA since 7 Feruary 1944, has been found and is coming home!

Mike Kindig Osborne, MAJ Kindig's son, has shared the following information about his father's return:

Army officer coming home...over a half-century after his death

Major Earl Robert Kindig, a Regular Army officer and Field Artillery battalion commander, is coming home 57-1/2 years after having been presumed killed-in-action in the jungles of Papua New Guinea in World War II.

Thanks almost exclusively to the dedicated work of Fred Hagen, a Philadelphia contractor who routinely visits New Guinea to search for American wrecks and remains of MIA servicemen; Patricia Gaffney-Ansel, of New Haven, CT, who also lost her father, a 5th Air Force fighter pilot (whose remains were recovered a short distance from the Kindig crash site and subsequently buried at Arlington National Cemetery); and the men and women of the Army's Central Identification Laboratory, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Major Kindig's remains will be buried at Arlington by the Army's Third Infantry "Old Guard" Regiment during the first week of October.

Major Kindig, who was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit and the Order of the Purple Heart for his actions on 07 February 1944, had gone aloft that day in a light aircraft to direct artillery fire on columns of Japanese forcesówith what would have been otherwise unattainable precision. His plane never returned.

Kindig's only offspring, Michael Kindig Osborn, lives in Denver and is the editor of the state's AFL-CIO newspaper, the Colorado Labor Advocate. He will travel to Hawaii to meet the CILHI staff and escort his father's remains to Arlington.

At the time of his disappearance, Maj. Kindig was the CO of the 121st FA Bn, 32nd Infantry Division.

More information about MAJ Kindig's long journey home can be found below.

Mike Kindig Osborn would very much like to contact Veteran's who knew or served with his father. Please contact him at

This Wisconsin Military History Page is dedicated to all of Wisconsin's citizens who have proudly and honorably served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

Let these pages especially be a tribute to the service, sacrifice and honor of the members of the 32nd "Red Arrow" Division, and the soldiers from all of the United States who filled its ranks during both World Wars.

Wisconsin Military History
(left photo) -The 127th Infantry lined up for inspection by General John J. Pershing (AEF Commander) while on Occupation Duty in Germany at the end of World War I. (center photo) -The 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry after landing at an airstrip 8 miles south of Buna, New Guinea early in World War II. (right photo) -The 2/127th Infantry in formation for Battalion awards ceremony during Annual Training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

 We must recognize and respect the deeds and memories of our Soldiers and Veterans, their sacrifices and achievements must be revered, honored and remembered.

This page is devoted to telling the story of Wisconsin's proud, distinguished contributions to the Military History of the United States of America. A great deal of the history information presented here pertains to the 32nd Infantry Division and the 32nd Infantry Brigade because the history of the "Red Arrow" is such a large portion of Wisconsin's military history. Much of the "Red Arrow" history is shared by both Wisconsin and Michigan because the 32nd Division was comprised of the Wisconsin and Michigan National Guards for many years.

Mr. Howard Kelley, a 32nd Infantry Division Veteran, has written a book describing his service during World War II. In Born in the U.S.A. - Raised in New Guinea, he shares some of his most personal experiences as a member of the 'Red Arrow's' 3rd Battalion, 127th Infantry. This book offers a rare, first-hand glimpse of the 32nd Infantry Division in World War II, as seen through the eyes of an enlisted GI. Click on the book cover to the left, it will take you to Mr. Kelley's web site, where you will find information about how to purchase this book.

Information about Major Earl R. Kindig, Commanding Officer of the 121st Field Artillery Battalion, 32nd Division, MIA since 7 February 1944.

A tribute to Colonel Merle H. Howe, a highly decorated 32nd Division officer, killed in action at the end of World War II. This link will take you to a web site maintained by COL Howe's family.

All links in this table are internal to the Co. D, 2/128th Inf. web site.
32nd Division and Brigade InsigniaThe meaning and symbolism of the 32nd "Red Arrow" Insignia 32nd "Red Arrow" Division Brief History 127th Infantry InsigniaThe meaning and symbolism of the 127th Infantry Insignia
Medal of Honor Recipients from the 32nd Division and Wisconsin Highlights of the 32nd Division during World War I Highlights of the 32nd Division during World War II
History of the Wisconsin National Guard in Watertown History of the 32nd Division in World War I History of the 32nd Division in World War II
Wisconsin's Combat Service Wisconsin State Guard Organization of the 32nd Division on the eve of World War II
Organization of the Wisconsin National Guard during Mexican Border Service Organization of the Wisconsin National Guard when it was activated for World War I Information about the Mobilization of the Wisconsin National Guard for World War I
Organization of the 32nd Division when it was created for World War I 150th Machine Gun Battalion during World War I Organization of the Wisconsin National Guard during the Berlin Crisis

Seeking Information about 32nd Division Veterans and Units
(NEW posting 13 July '01)(Internal Link)

32nd Infantry Division & Wisconsin Military History Links
All links in this table are external links; they are not part of the Co. D, 2/128th Inf.'s web site.
World War I
World War II
Et Al
WW1 Diary of CPL Arthur W. Scherr, 107th Signal Bn, 32nd Division Colonel Merle H. Howe-a tribute to a highly decorated 32nd Division officer, KIA Wisconsin Veteran's Museum
Marshall Beattie and the Red Arrow Division SSG Henry Brooks - Recollections of a soldier with the 127th Infantry on the Ville Verde Trail during World War II Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Association
The 32nd Division in the World War Eugene Albert Orgill - "Camping in New Guinea" - World War II Experiences
"The Red Arrow Division: Fierce    fighters of World War I" - from the Detroit News' Rearview Mirror "Papua" - a CMH pamphlet about Allied combat on the Papuan Peninsula on New Guinea during WWII
MG William G. Haan - 32nd Div. Commander during WWI Deuce And A Half Global Register - the story of one 32nd Division 2½ Ton 6x6 Truck in WWII
The Sinking of the Tuscania (one of the ships that transported the 32nd Division to France) WWII Relics in New Guinea

History Resources of 32nd "Red Arrow" Division
and Brigade (Organic and Attached Units)
All links in this table are external links; they are not part of the Co. D, 2/128th Inf.'s web site.
1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery 1st Battalion, 126th Field Artillery 107th Engineer Battalion
112th Cavalry Regiment


Special Bulletin Regarding MAJ Earl Kindig,

121st FA Bn., 32nd "Red Arrow" Infantry Division

In case you missed it, new information about MAJ Kindig is at the top of this page!

On 28 Feb. '01, Mike Kindig Osborn offered this update about his Father, MAJ Kindig:

"Definite identifications have been made of remains of both my father and that of the rookie Guardsman pilot, Francis Piotrowski. All that's left is for the Central Identification Laboratory - Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii to reduce the size of the third pile of commingled remains. Toward that end, a genealogical firm hired by the Army has tracked down a couple of "lost" relatives (a great aunt and her daughter) who will presently be giving blood for the necessary "maternal" DNA matching process. (Donors from Lt. Piotrowski's family were previously found and made it possible for the initial i. d.'s to take place.)"

"My father's remains will come home sometime this spring -- for a service in his home town of Washington, Iowa, and then on to Arlington for interment."

"If you'd be good enough to pass this on, I'd be most grateful. I'm still looking for men who served with...

Maj. Earl R. Kindig
121st FA Bn, Commanding
32nd Inf Div
MIA*, PNG, 07Feb44

*Although that's clearly no longer an operative classification. At a little past 1300 zulu on that date, roughly 19 miles southeast of Saidor, he and Lt. Piotrowski were killed instantly."

If you served with or knew MAJ Kindig, would you please contact his son, Mike Kindig Osborn at

Major Earl R. Kindig, CO, 121st Field Artillery Battalion, flying in an L4A light observation aircraft, piloted by Lt. F. J. Piaprowski, was observing the effects of fire for his Battalion roughly 18 miles southeast of Saidor, New Guinea on 7 February 1944. The plane failed to return and an immediate search produced negative results. Both officers have been MIA ever since. MAJ Kindig had also served with the 120th FA Bn, and fought at Buna.

The information below was provided earlier by Mike Kindig Osborne:

MAJ Kindig's son, Mike Kindig Osborn, would like to share the following information with 32nd Infantry Division Veterans. "The Army's Central Identification Laboratory, Hickam AFB, Hawaii (CILHI), has just recently dispatched a "recovery team" (composed principally of archeologists and forensic mortuary specialists) to the site of an L4A wreck "approximately 19 miles southeast of Saidor," PNG, near the village of Yaut.  They arrived at the site on February 26th and, within four days, according to communication with CILHI, had started to recover human remains.  (The L4, incidentally, was piloted by 2nd/Lt Francis Piotrowski, who I believe was a native of Madison.)"

"The CILHI people I've spoken with seem reasonably confident they'll be able to recover and identify the remains of both Lt. Piotrowski and Major Kindig.  In my father's case, if this is achieved, I understand I have the option of either electing to have his remains interred at Arlington or the cemetery of my choice."

"In any event, I thought this information might merit some space in your excellent site outlining the history of the division.  And . . .

. . .I'd very much like to speak with any veterans who served with my father, or, at the very least, let them be made aware that a comrade-in-arms will, in all likelihood, soon be "coming home" -- at last."

This information was received shortly after work had begun at the site:
"Yesterday, the following additional items were excavated from the L4A crash site near the village of Yaut, Papua New Guinea:
- more bones, bone fragments;
- teeth;
- Zippo brand cigarette lighter w/Army crest thereon;
- Field Artillery brass collar device;
- major's oak-leaf brass insignia device.
Excavation continues."

If you served with or knew MAJ Kindig, would you please contact his son, Mike Kindig Osborn at

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 revised 29 December 2001
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Disclosure: Co. D, 2/128th Infantry's web site is an unofficial web site. Neither the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense have authorized, endorsed or otherwise influenced the compilation of these pages.