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Old 11-27-2015, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default The Search of Helen Elas Conka (Girl who helped 15 U.S Airmen in WWII)

Just saw this story today for the first time and thought it was amazing. To see how this young girl who had so much trouble in her life help and care for these fallen soldiers was truly heartwarming.

There doesn't appear to be an update whether or not she ever found the airmen again after emigrating to the U.S later in her life unfortunately but it was such a beautiful story.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:31 PM   #2
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I've asked about this repeatedly. Given the military's careful records, it seems a simple matter having date and place to know what planes went down in that area during that time, then learn who was on them and whether they ever turned up again, but searches turn up no one who has followed up on this. Maybe we should identify some military organization or history enthusiast who would either know or be willing to check.
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Old 11-28-2015, 12:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cori aka ChrisSCrush
I've asked about this repeatedly. Given the military's careful records, it seems a simple matter having date and place to know what planes went down in that area during that time, then learn who was on them and whether they ever turned up again, but searches turn up no one who has followed up on this. Maybe we should identify some military organization or history enthusiast who would either know or be willing to check.

I believe it is a bit harder than that. If memory serves, there was a big fire in the 60's that destroyed a lot of records from ww1 and ww2.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I believe it is a bit harder than that. If memory serves, there was a big fire in the 60's that destroyed a lot of records from ww1 and ww2.

That's true. Some months ago, we were hoping to have my WWII vet father buried in a vet's cemetery but were told that since that fire destroyed the Army's records, the ONLY way to accomplish that goal was to hope that he DID have it (and save it) AND that the PTB would consider that a legit document and not a forgery. Thankfully, it ALL worked out but imagine those vets and families who somehow have no records on their own to prove their service.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:38 PM   #5
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I fear that the men were discovered and killed by the Nazis. But if the priest survived and Helen remembers his name, perhaps he could have been asked? He's likely not living anymore even if he did survive the war. I wish we could know his name and what became of him.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I fear that the men were discovered and killed by the Nazis. But if the priest survived and Helen remembers his name, perhaps he could have been asked? He's likely not living anymore even if he did survive the war. I wish we could know his name and what became of him.
We basically have two options to help find out. Find the next of kin because they are the only ones who could probably find the info and even that would be a crap shoot unless they already know something. Or you can try to do a freedom
Of information request but I don't think that would help.

I know there is a national center in St. Louis that keep archived records on military personnel. But you have to have the member or next of kin prove to them identity to get records if they exist. But this info is good for anyone who knows a vet that want their records.

Last edited by DALLASTEXAN!!; 11-28-2015 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:34 AM   #7
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Would not any member of the families of any of the men involved have looked into the story at some point?
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:18 AM   #8
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Would not any member of the families of any of the men involved have looked into the story at some point?
Not sure. Did UM ever update this case?
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:52 AM   #9
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On the UM wiki page there isn't any update so no I guess.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:04 AM   #10
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It's possible the family never heard of the broadcast. I know it's hard to believe that someone out there would not have known but there Were/are quite a few lost love cases that did remain unsolved.
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:35 PM   #11
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I don't know if anyone's noticed that this case is on Amazon Prime (Season 6, Episode 22). I was surprised to see that the case was updated; it said that after the story aired, she was able to reconnect with the men that she had saved. Unfortunately, there wasn't much else mentioned about the men, but it's great to know that the case was solved!
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:16 PM   #12
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Is she still living? She'd be 90 now if so.
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Is she still living? She'd be 90 now if so.
I did a quick search and found exactly one listing for a Helen Conka (her married name) in Peoria, Arizona. She is 90 years old, and so far, checked a couple of the major death sites and did not find anything, so hopefully that means she is still alive.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I did a quick search and found exactly one listing for a Helen Conka (her married name) in Peoria, Arizona. She is 90 years old, and so far, checked a couple of the major death sites and did not find anything, so hopefully that means she is still alive.
Hopefully
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unsolved243
I don't know if anyone's noticed that this case is on Amazon Prime (Season 6, Episode 22). I was surprised to see that the case was updated; it said that after the story aired, she was able to reconnect with the men that she had saved. Unfortunately, there wasn't much else mentioned about the men, but it's great to know that the case was solved!
Of all the UM segments I have watched, this is the first one that has genuinely moved me to tears. I watched it on Amazon Prime today and I'm so glad to see the update at the end that she did eventually manage to make contact with the men after everything they all went through - especially Helen's suffering at the hands of the Nazis.

Even better to see she was recognised by the President at the White House for her courage and sacrifice in hiding and saving those soldiers.
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