Remains Of American Airman Killed In WWII Bombing Raid Over Romania Identified After Nearly 80 Years

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Brent Foster Contributor
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The remains of an American airman killed in a WWII bombing raid over Romania have been identified after nearly 80 years, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced in a Wednesday press release.

U.S. Army Air Forces member 2nd Lt. Peter A. Timpo, hailing from Ecorse, Michigan, was fully accounted for on July 20, 2022, the DPAA wrote in the release.

Timpo, who served as a bombardier aboard a B-24 Liberator aircraft, was assigned to the 343rd Bombardment Squadron of the 9th Air Force, the agency wrote in the release.

Taking part in Operation Tidal Wave, a mission designed to destroy oil fields and refinery facilities within the vicinity of Ploiești, Romania, the 24-year-old overflew the Eastern European country on August 1, 1943, according to the release.

Timpo was killed when his aircraft crashed after being struck by enemy anti-aircraft fire, according to the DPAA. (RELATED: Thousands Of Missing WWII Soldier Remains Return To US From Tunisia)

After the crash, his unidentified remains were initially buried in the Hero Section within the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan in Ploiești, the agency wrote in the release.

Eventually, after the war, the American Graves Restoration Command (AGRC) attempted to identify scores of remains from the Bolovan Cemetery but still could not account for 80 individuals, who the DPAA wrote were buried in Belgium at the Ardennes American Cemetery and the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery.

The DPAA refocused on the unidentified remains from Operation Tidal Wave in 2017, sending them to their laboratory at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Scientists identified Timpo by analyzing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR), the agency wrote in the release.

Although it currently remains unscheduled, Timpo is now set for burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. His name is engraved on the Tablets of the Missing within the Florence American Cemetery in Italy, where the agency said a rosette will now be added next to his name to signify his identification.