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The ABMC is now using Wikipedia for their source instead of documentation from the U.S. Army.

Over the summer of 2015 on FB one day I say a post from Marty Morgan June 20, 2015.  I sent a request June 24, 2015 via the US Mail.  I asked for two pieces of information from the ABMC and that was this; At the Brittany American Cemetery there is a display about Captain Loyal Bogart.  Requesting the person or persons who wrote this article shown below and who approved this display.

 

For over a month I received no response then received a response via mail.  I sent an email toward the July 18, 2015 to Nosal the FOIA Public Liaison Office and he responded with this email on July 18, 2015;

#1 Nosal You filed your recent FOIA request with us, unfortunately, we are not required to file a response to an imperfect request. While it is true that you have never been charged a fee, the FOIA guidelines state that you need to express a willingness to cover those costs.

The display was approved by a previous superintendent who is no longer at the cemetery.  Due to the Privacy Act, I cannot give you the name of the superintendent responsible for the display, only his position - he was the previous Superintendent of Brittany American Cemetery (Jeffrey Aarnio from 2001 to 2014).

#2 Nosal In regard to the narrative, I agree that the history as it appears is overstated.  In fact, the current Superintendent removed the temporary displays last month for a variety of reasons.  If that is what prompted your FOIA Request, why didn't you simply ask? 

3# Nosal Here is the basic facts as I know it - Capt. Bogart parachuted into Normandy and unfortunately, broke his legs during the landing.  He suffered other injuries as well.  Instead of being evacuated, he demanded to stay with his unit.  He assisted in a CP by manning radios.  During a mortar bombardment, he was once again injured. 

After being captured he was tortured and probably was executed by the enemy.  His body was unceremoniously tossed aside.  There is also the possibility that he died in the CP from his wounds following the mortar bombardment.  Unfortunately, we may never know for sure because there are conflicting accounts. 

Here is what I believe to be overstated from the temporary display - that he was forced to dig his own grave.   Given the condition of his injuries and wounds, there no way he could have done that.

4# Nosal Having said all of this, the temporary display, although partially inaccurate, in no way detracts from Capt. Bogart's service

BNS Response - The most basic question is what is the name of the Superintendent who authorized this display and who wrote it? You have spent all of this time trying to deflect the names of those two people.  Or is it the Superintendent wrote it himself? 

There is no privacy involved in this case.  That is like saying I need a list of all US Presidents and someone from the Government says no that can be given out because of Privacy Issues.  This person was in the Public Eye as a Superintendent and has no expectation of privacy.  Yet you refuse to list his name or the name of the person who wrote the narrative.  Please show the statute that shields the name of an AMBC resent or past employee.

You state that we will never know for sure what happened to Captain Bogart.  That is rich to say the least.  The information is in something called an IDPF.  You should look it up.  He was taken along with a Captain from the 507th Prcht Inf Surgeon and then executed and left in some bushes on the side of the road. 

I sent a request to the ABMC for the following; 

It showed a display at the Brittany American Cemetery and a picture of Captain Bogart from Co B of the 501st Prcht Inf.  Captain Bogart was executed on June 12, 1944 along with Captain Sophian the Senior Surgeon from the Hq Co 3rd Bn, 507th Prcht Inf.

The Display had numerous errors which I noticed right away.  I contacted the ABMC (American Battle Monuments Commission) and filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.

Then I got almost all of what I requested to begin with.  I only received the Superintends names from the actual Former Superintendent via email, not from Nosal. I only got it because of the Fee Waver.  If you don’t fill a “perfect” request he thinks he doesn’t have to respond.  You have to wonder how he got this job.  The better questions is how did the Higher ups at the ABMC and their counterpart are CMH get these jobs?  Patronage.  

All I requested was the names of two people.  This took almost 2 months and dozens of emails to receive this simple request. 

Obviously the ABMC didn’t want this information to be known.  When it did finally arrive in August of 2015 it showed the extent of the errors as it pertained to Captain Bogart.  The ABMC is now using Wikipedia for their source instead of documentation from the US Army.

Where does Nosal get this from?  If the ABMC had just looked at the IDPF for Captain Bogart it would show he wasn’t killed on June 11, 1944 by mortar fire.

Please read the information that Nosal sent after the FOIA request.  A majority of the Wikipedia information is wrong and Gary Fox book has many many errors in there as well.  Instead of using solid documentation the ABMC did a half ass job once again.

 

Brian Siddall

December 4, 2015 

 


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