World War II Hero Finally Buried 73 Years After He Was Killed


“L.A. Paratrooper, Buddy Capture 200 Italians.” “Los Angeles Warrior ‘Captures his Captors.'”

Those headlines, from 1943, are talking about a man named Army Staff Sgt. David Rosenkrantz. He quickly became a hero to more than just his family when he turned an accident into a victory.

Dropped into an Italian unit with one of his buddies, the two paratroopers managed to turn the situation in their own favor, and around 200 Italian soldiers ended up surrendering to them

Eva Rosenkrantz, David’s mother, was proud of her son. She couldn’t help but speak of him in glowing terms: “I just knew he’d do something — something big,” she said.

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But just a year later, the hero disappeared in the Netherlands. He went missing after Operation Market Garden, and no one knew quite what had become of him.

Unable to get any closure, his mother continued to look for him. She thought maybe he’d have come home and was wandering somewhere, and would look for him when they drove through Los Angeles.

After decades passed, the rest of the family began to accept the fact that they’d never really know what happened to David, and went on with their lives.

That changed for David’s nephew, Philip Rosenkrantz, when he saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and suddenly became adamant about finding out exactly what happened to his uncle in 1944.

That was in the 1990s. Philip was eventually contacted by Ben Overhand, a dutchman who was also looking for missing soldiers who had been part of the reason his country was free.

He had managed to get a hold of a hand-drawn map that showed the farm where an intense battle took place, and where Rosenkrantz supposedly died.

After the two men tracked down the remains that had been buried in an American grave, those remains were exhumed and tested last year to see if David Rosenkrantz had finally been found.

They were. David Rosenkrantz had finally been found.

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Now, 73 years after his death, David has finally been put to rest in the fashion he deserved. On Friday his family gathered as he was taken to the Riverside National Cemetery.

“This is a day I have been hoping for over 20 years,” Philip Rosenkrantz said. “We now have some closure.”

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