On February 6th, Lieut. Thomas B. Lyons sent a handwritten note to Dan’s father expressing his condolences and requesting directions about what to do with Dan’s personal property. Apparently Lieut. Lyons received a response on the 11th—I don’t have this letter.  Here is the response the Lieut.  sent a few days later.


Headquarters 224th Aero Squadron

Kelly Field, So. San Antonio, Texas

February 16th, 1918


From: C.O. 224th Aero Squadron

To: Mr. J.C. Newcomer, Harper’s Ferry, W. Va.

Subject: Return of Articles


In accordance with your instructions as per letter of the eleventh inst., I am forwarding to-day under separate parcels all your son’s property—by registered mail the following articles:

1 class pin

1 fountain pen

1 keys bunch

1 nail file

1 pocket knife

1 purse

1 knife

1 watch and fob


By Well’s Fargo Express, the following articles:


1 comfort kit

1 collar bar

1 collar button

1 comb

1 pr garters

2 hairbrushes

1 hat cord

2 handerchiefs

2 houswives (?)

1 package toothpaste

1 safety razor

1 shaving brush

1 soap box

1 shoe brush

2 Red Cross sweaters

1 tie pin and safety clasp

3 toothbrushes

3 towels

1 trench mirror

1 whisk broom


Please acknowledge receipt in detail of these articles and make statement in duplicate, so I can forward one to the Adjutant General at Washington, and keep one for my own file. This should show every article received.


Your very kind expressions towards the boys of the squadron and your desire to distribute articles belonging to your unfortunate boy is appreciated by all, but it was considered best to return them to you.

With best wishes for you and Mrs. Newcomer, and again expressing my deepest sympathy, I beg to remain,


Sincerely Yours,


Thomas B. Lyons

1st Lieut. Sig. R.C.A.S.

Commanding 224th Aero Sqdn.



I received a similar list and set of items from the coroner after the death of my daughter. There is no positive outcome here. As a parent, you want these items and treasure them, yet they are so insufficient to represent the whole of the child you have lost. I can imagine the wild grief of my great-grandmother when these items arrived.