On Sept. 7 at Chesmeh, southwest of Smyrna, to which the body of Private Dilboy was brought in 1922, an American detachment landed and was saluted by a Turkish guard of honor drawn up beside the coffin, which was covered by an American flag. The coffin was then formally delivered to the American officials and carried on board the Litchfield, full military honors being rendered by both detachments.


 

The New York Times, Thursday, November 1, 1923

EDITORIAL PAGE:

TURKEY MAKES AMENDS. Admits Desecration of Doughboy’s Coffin and Gives it Full Honors.

Special to The New York Times.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31.—The Turkish Government has made full official amends for the desecration at Alachata, near Smyrna, at the time of the Turkish advance of September, 1922, of the coffin of Private George Dilboy. A.E. F., who in 1917 was killed in action near Belleau and to whom was awarded posthumously the Congressional Medal of Honor, Secretary Hughes has been advised of this action in official reports and today authorized an announcement to that effect.

On receipt of reports of the desecration an investigation was made by American representatives in Turkey, the preliminary results of which have already been announced. The Turkish authorities having conveyed to this Government through the American High Commissioner in Constantinople an expression of regret, undertook an independent investigation which resulted in the recovery of the coffin at Alachata. The Turks, however, were unable to verify the report that it had at the time of the occupation of Alachata been covered by an American flag or to ascertain the identity of the person or persons responsible for the alleged desecration.

On Sept. 7 at Chesmeh, southwest of Smyrna, to which the body of Private Dilboy was brought in 1922, an American detachment landed and was saluted by a Turkish guard of honor drawn up beside the coffin, which was covered by an American flag. The coffin was then formally delivered to the American officials and carried on board the Litchfield, full military honors being rendered by both detachments.

  Transcribed for educational, archival and fair use purposes only.

By Sofia Kontogeorge Kostos

 

Photo courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs,  Arlington National Cemetary  

 

FOR THE RECORD:

Turkey has an appalling record of disrespecting corpses. During the anti-Greek pogroms of 1955, the Patriarchal Cemetery at Balikli was attacked and the bones of the Ecumenical Patriarchs were scattered about.

In 1993, a Greek Orthodox Cemetery at the Church of the Virgin Mary at the Neohorion part of Constantinople was vandalized and the remains of the dead were scattered about. It was this incident which served as a catalyst for various assassination attempts against the Ecumenical Patriarch. His holiness Bartholomaios I, visited this cemetery after this nefarious incident and denounced the attacks, shortly thereafter extremists attempted to burn the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the ground.

In 1998, another Greek Orthodox Cemetery was vandalized. Attacks on the deceased Christians in Turkey are far too common. (THEODORE KARAKOSTAS)

PLEASE SEE:

The New York Times, 5 November 1922. Headline: “Army Will Honor Dilboy, War Hero, Private Killed at Belleau Wood, Will Be Buried at Arlington.” (SKK)  

AND THE BOOK

Georgie! My Georgie! The First Greek-American to  Win The Medal of Honor

 

Sofia Kontogeorge-Kostos is the author of Before the Silence: Archival News Reports of the Christian Holocaust that begs to be Remembered available in hardback and Kindle

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