Nicholson's body is returned to U.S.
The Stars & Stripes
RHEIN-MAIN AB, Germany -- An Air Force plane bearing the body of Army Maj. Arthur D. Nicholson Jr., his family and about a dozen members of the U.S., French and British military liaison missions based in Potsdam, East Germany, took off for the United States shortly before noon Friday after a brief flightline ceremony.
Nicholson's widow Karyn and 8-year-old daughter Jenny arrived at Rhein-Main AB at about 10 a.m. Friday on an Air Force C-9 flight from Berlin.
First off the plane was Jenny, clutching a Cabbage Patch doll that has been her companion through many of the ceremonies conducted since her father was shot to death Sunday by a Soviet guard near the East German town of Ludwigslust. On hand to greet the family and members of the missions was USAREUR Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Charles J. Fiala.
After a brief wait in the distinguished visitor lounge, during which the USAREUR band and honor guard moved into position, the Nicholson entourage came back onto the wind-whipped flightline.
A German hearse carrying the body of Nicholson moved onto the flightline for the ceremonial transfer of the body onto the plane. The strains of "America the Beautiful" were almost drowned out by the wind and the roar of jets landing and taking off at the nearby Frankfurt International Airport.
Pallbearers from the Army honor guard slowly moved the flag-draped coffin toward the rear ramp of the Air Force C-141 transport. The pallbearers paused momentarily on the runway to allow Nicholson's wife and daughter to touch the coffin. The coffin then was taken up the back ramp into the plan, followed by the family and escorts.
The plane arrived later Friday at Andrews AFB, just outside of Washington, D.C. Burial was scheduled for Saturday at Arlington National Cemetery.
The ceremony at Rhein-Main was the second in two days. On Thursday, about 100 people attended a 45-minute memorial service at the American community chapel in Dahlem, in the U.S. sector of Berlin.
A memorial fund has been established at the request of Nicholson's widow, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Military Liaison Mission. The fund was started with about $300 in donations from the unit. Anyone wishing to make donations should make the check payable to the Nicholson Memorial Fund,
A private, not for profit organization
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