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S/Sgt. Cornelius Vander Lugt

I am always especially interested in the men who flew in my dad’s plane “Shopworn Angel.” My friend, Donald Moomaw, a contributor to this web page and Marauderman, told me this, “Later in the war , when we were stationed in France, there were more crews than B-26 planes. Because of this we were no longer assigned to a specific plane.”

One of the men assigned to the Shopworn Angel on a given day was Cornelius Vander Lugt. He was on the same crew with co-pilot, Don Moomaw, who sent me this picture and comment some time ago.

http://shopwornangel.imaginarynumber.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/ShopwornAngelTech-Sarg-VanderlugWeb11.jpg

“Hi Carl, another photo I discovered, had it filed away separately, was going to send it to his family, but could not locate them. Tech, Sgt. Vander Lugt, tail gunner,  this was taken on Feb. 12, 1945 prior to taking off on a mission. Why taken, and why only him, he was killed on that mission?????????   Did he or someone have a premonition of what was going to happen???? And it Feb.14th that Shopworn Angel went down.”

“There is no question Sgt. Vander Lugt was killed on that mission, he was on our crew, I can remember as clear as if it was two hours ago, He came on the intercom, “I have been hit, I have been hit! ” We immediately requested information to the nearest airfield that could give him medical aid. I do not remember the airfield, he was alive when the medical personnel took him. He was a very good individual, but flak is not choosy.”

I have since been contacted by various members of his family. It seems they found this page via search engine and came to the picture above. Mr. Moomaw had his wish fulfilled in that the family now has this picture available to them.

 

In time, Mr. Moomaw found this picture taken of Cornelius’ grave site prior to the placement of a permanent marker.

I located the photo Sgt. Vanterlugt grave site, I imagine it can be improved. I don’t know the name of the cemetery or location. I am certain it has a stone marker by now. I would send to anyone who would like it. -D. Moomaw-

 

 

I was recently surprised to receive an e-mail from Marcel Vander Lugt from Belgium. His message was as follows, ”

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Dear Carl,

Today was my birthday and I did some research on the internet trying to get photographs of all the nose art that was painted on the B-26 bomber in the 495th Bomb Squadron. This is the squadron that a distant family member of mine, Cornelius Vanderlugt served in. as I was copying photographs my cursor moved over a photograph of the plane called “Shopworn Angel” and noticed the name Vanderlugt in the description of the photograph. So I returned to the website of which I copied the Photograph, and there was a text under the photograph telling me this is Cornelius just before boarding on the plane in which he got fatally wounded. In other words, this is the last photograph of Cornelius taken on the day he got wounded or died. As you can imagine I had to read the lines twice and my jaw dropped when this finally got through to me.

I have been looking for over 3 years now to find this information and or photograph, almost as if I knew it existed. Because Cornelius Vanderlugt is a distant relative of mine and he is burried on the Ardennes Cemetery ( about 2 hours drive from my home) I am trying to find out more about him. I already have contact with his family in the USA and even have got a photograph of him standing with a bomber crew in front of a B-26. Maybe you can get in contact with me and we can exchange information and or photographs?
Hope to hear from you soon.
Kind regards,

Marcel van der Lugt
Beiaard 363
Etten-Leur
the Netherlands”

Marcel send me a concise biographic skatch of Cornelius and a more modern picture of the grave;

Name: Vanderlugt
Surname: Cornelius
Date of birth: 1925
Place of birth: Kent County, Michigan
Died: 10 February 1945
Buried at: Plot D Row 6 Grave 14, Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupre, Belgium
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Ser. Number: 36460204

Task; Tailgunner B-26
Unit: 495th Bombardment Squadron, 344th Bomber Group (medium – B26 Marauders), US Army Air Forces
Date of enlistment; april 5 1943
Source of Army personnel: civil life
Place of enlistment: Kalamazoo Michigan

Entered ETO: September 1943

Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

 

His parents were Teunis Vanderlugt and Henrietta Vanderlugt (Droogh). They left from Rotterdam in 1892 to North Dakota and Minnesota and settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a farmer. Teunis also worked in a brass manufacturing factory.

They had 8 sons. Herbert, Tunis, John, Gerald, Fred, Cornelius and Leonard of which Fred of Allendale, Michigan and Peter of Arizona, are still alive. Peter was a marine who served in the Pacific during the war. Herbert Vanderlugt is the grandfather of Joshua Vanderlugt.

After 1 year of High school he was a semiskilled mechanics and repairman motor vehicles. When he left to Europe Cornelius was engaged to his High school sweetheart.

Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

 


We (my brother Hans and I ) will take it upon us to adopt the grave of Cornelius on the Ardennes Cemetery in Belgium and we will put flowers on his grave every time we will visit, but at least every year on Memorial Day. -Marcel Vander Lugt

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In close succession, I heard and received materials from Josh, Dan, Marcel, and Michael. Vander Lugt. Some are from the U.S. and some from Belgium.

I’ll begin with the notices of death from the Base Commander, Lucious Clay, and commanding officer, Samuel Anderson. Click either picture to see a larger view.

During the mission in which Cornelius Vander Lugt was mortally wounded, the flak was moderate but accurate.

Although they were posed in front of a B-26 other than the Shopworn Angel, this is the crew as composed on Feb 10, 1945. The day Cornelius died.

 

 

The crew as described by Pilot, Lt. Deneen

Another snapshot of some of the crew. They are not in front of the Shopworn Angel.

This is what the flak was like that day -Moomaw-

Don Moomaw sent this photo because the flak shown is similar to how he remembers it that day.

I good description of the event comes from Mike Yeager. He was the replacement Radio/Gunner that day replacing the usual R/G Rodney Meaux who was sick that day. Click each of the pages below to enlarge and read.

2 Responses to “S/Sgt. Cornelius Vander Lugt”

  1. Josh Vander Lugt says:

    Mr. Carrozza,

    Thanks for publishing these documents and photos. My dad (Cornielius’ nephew) and I had fun reviewing and scanning them. You have done a wonderful job of bringing together items from different sources to create a more clear picture of the final days of the Shopworn Angel and her crew.

    We are very grateful to you for honoring our uncle Cornie.

    Regards,

    Josh Vander Lugt
    Newaygo, Michigan

  2. Marcel van der Lugt says:

    Wow, what a lot of information have you gathered. Even in my wildest dreams I couln’t have wished for more. What a beautyfull tribute this is.
    Thanks for all the hard work Carl.

    Marcel

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