The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) announced Thursday that a World War II pilot whose remains were confirmed in April will be buried in Maine.
U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Ernest N. Vienneau will be laid to rest in his hometown of Millinocket, Maine, on Oct. 9, nearly eighty years since the young airman perished fighting overseas, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said, according to The Associated Press (AP).
— Patrick Whittle (@pxwhittle) August 26, 2021
Vienneau was a co-pilot on a bomber based in Italy during World War II, the AP reported. During a flight over present-day Slovenia on Nov. 6, 1944, the bomber came under fire and Vienneau was mortally wounded, the DOD said, according to the AP. The pilot was forced to abandon the crashing bomber off of Vis Island, Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea, and was unable to recover Vienneau’s body from the wreckage as it sunk, the AP noted. He was 25.
Divers reportedly discovered the wreckage at the bottom of the sea in 2017. About three years later, in the fall of 2020, human remains were collected from the wreckage, and an analysis of dental records and other evidence helped researchers conclude the remains belonged to Vienneau in April, the DOD said, according to the AP. (RELATED: D-Day Veteran Tom Rice Parachutes Out Of A Plane To Celebrate His 100th Birthday)
Vienneau’s name is among other soldiers on Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery in Italy, and a rosette will be added next to his name to signify that his remains have been accounted for, the DOD said, according to the AP.