(Photo by Scott Welton, Staff)
SIKESTON -- On Sept. 17, 1944, Allied forces began Operation Market Garden, which, had the attack on German forces in the Netherlands been successful, might have brought the war to an end by Christmas of that year.
The war ended less than a year later but not soon enough for Clarence Edward Felker Jr., who was serving in World War II as a fighter pilot, to make it home to Sikeston.
Felker, who had survived numerous combat missions in his P-47 "Thunderbolt" fighter plane during the war, died May 17, 1945, and was buried at the only U.S. military cemetery in the Netherlands, according to his surviving nephew, Harry Sharp of Sikeston.
"Victory in Europe Day was the week before," Sharp said. "He had been asked to participate in an air show for visiting Russian generals."
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