American aviators missing from WWII and Vietnam identified for b - New York News

American aviators missing from WWII and Vietnam identified for burial

Posted: Updated:

The Pentagon has announced that it has accounted for several servicemen who have been missing since World War II and the Vietnam War.

Two Marines and an Army Air Forces pilot missing in action from World War II as well as two Air Force aviators missing from the Vietnam War have been returned to family members for burial, according to the POW/Missing Personnel Office.

Marine Corps Capt. Henry S. White, 23, of Kansas City, Mo., and Staff Sgt. Thomas L. Meek, 19, of Lisbon, La., will be buried in a single casket representing the two servicemen, on October 18, 2013, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the Pentagon said.

White and Meek were in an SBD-4 Dauntless dive-bomber that departed Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides, on a night training mission and failed to return on July 21, 1943, the military said. Four years later, an Army team examined a crash site on Mavea Island but did not recover any remains.

However, decades later, in 2012, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team searched and excavated the crash site again, this time finding some remains of the airmen as well as captain's bars, an ID with Meek's name and service number, and other evidence. The military could not individually identify the remains, which is why they are being buried in a single casket.

Army Air Force 1st Lt. Robert G. Fenstermacher, 23, of Scranton, Pa., will also be buried on October 18 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Fenstermacher was a pilot of a P-47D Thunderbolt on a recon mission to German on December 26, 1944, when he crashed near Petergensfeld, Belgium, the Pentagon said. An American officer saw the crash and actually made it to the burning wreckage in time to grab Fenstermacher's dog tags. His remains were not recovered, and the military declared him killed in action.

After the war, the Army tried to find the wreckage but wasn't able to find the crash site.

But in 2012, some local historians excavated a private yard in Petergensfeld and found human remains and the wreckage or a P-47D. They turned over the remains to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, which used circumstantial evidence and dental comparisons to match the remains to Fenstermacher.

Air Force Lt. Col. Robert E. Pietsch, 31, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Maj. Louis F. Guillermin, 25, of West Chester, Pa., were buried in a single casket on October 16 at Arlington National Cemetery. Guillermin's individual remains were also buried October 5, in Broomall, Pa.

Guillermin and Pietsch were flying a reconnaissance mission when their A-26A Invader aircraft crashed in Laos on April 30, 1968. The military was not able to find them and they were listed as missing in action.

In 1994, a joint team from the United States and Laos found the crash site, recovered some human remains and evidence, but couldn't fully search the area because of live explosives.

Then in 2006, a team returned with the help of an explosives-disposal unit, which cleared the site. The team found more human remains and evidence.

Analyzing the remains, scientists identified Guillermin through mitochondrial DNA. The rest of the remains were not individually identified, but correspond to both Pietsch and Guillermin, the military said.

Of more than 400,000 American service members killed during World War II, the remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or identified, according to the military. More than 1,640 American service members from the Vietnam War are still either missing or not identified.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New Jersey detective acquitted in Maryland highway shooting

    NJ detective acquitted in Md. highway shooting

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:16:51 GMT
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
    A jury has found a New Jersey detective not guilty in the slaying of a driver during an alleged road-rage incident. Joseph Walker, 41, an investigator for the Hudson County, New Jersey, prosecutor's office, was found not guilty on all counts on Wednesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. He had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Harvey, 36, of Landsdowne.
  • Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Amazon ships first order from New Jersey

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:31:08 GMT
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.
    The world's biggest online retailer has shipped its first order from its new distribution center in New Jersey. The Interplak All-In-One Sonic Water Jet was sent from Robbinsville to an Amazon customer in New York. Amazon says it expects to employ more than 1,000 full-time employees at the 1 million-square-foot center just outside of Trenton.

  • Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:28:00 GMT
    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato.

    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato. Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the detective's protective vest may have saved his life.


Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices