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The National World War II Museum invites you to “Journey of the Heart,” a presentation by Patricia Gaffney-Kindig

NEW ORLEANS (April 14, 2009) - The National World War II Museum invites you to “Journey of the Heart,” a presentation by Patricia Gaffney-Kindig, daughter of a World War II pilot.

Twenty-three year old fighter pilot George P. Gaffney, Jr., was declared missing in action in Papua, New Guinea, on March 11, 1944. Three months later, Patricia Susan Gaffney was born a fatherless child. “Journey of the Heart” is the story of a daughter’s search for the father she never knew.

In 1995, Patricia’s journey took her to New Guinea where she flew over her father’s presumed last flight. Three years later, her father’s wreck site and remains were found by an American businessman who searched at Patricia’s request.

But that is not the end of this story of love.

Patricia was contacted by a fellow member of the American WWII Orphans Network (AWON) of which Patricia served as principal officer.  Michael Kindig said his father had gone missing in the same place, at the same time as Lieutenant Gaffney.  A serendipitous moment occurred eighteen months later when Patricia realized the wreck site of her friend’s father, an artillery battalion commander, had been located during the search for her father.

Lt. George P. Gaffney, Jr., and Major Earl R. Kindig are buried in Arlington National Cemetery after fifty-five years of being counted among the 78,000 servicemen who remain missing from WWII.

In October 2002, war orphans Patricia Gaffney and Michael Kindig, met at an AWON conference and were married nine months later at Yale University. They like to think that “Bub” and “Duke” had something to do with it all.

AWON was founded in 1991 by Ann Bennett Mix and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Several hundred sons, daughters, and other family members of American soldiers, seamen or airmen who were killed, went missing or died while on active duty during WWII, or as result of wounds are part of this organization. AWON works to locate WWII orphans, connect them to sources of information about their deceased relatives, and work to honor their fathers’ service and sacrifice.

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.  Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org.



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