Remains Of WWII Bomber Lost In Europe Will Be Buried In Illinois Hometown

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The remains of a World War II bomber lost in Europe for decades will finally be returned to his hometown in Illinois after being identified.

Twenty-four-year-old Tech. Sgt. James Howie was a radio operator on a B-24 Liberator Bomber when on Aug. 1, 1943, his craft was hit by enemy fire and crashed in Bucharest, Romania, according to the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Howie’s remains were never identified following the war and he and others were buried as “unknowns” in a cemetery in Romania.

Things took a turn after the American Graves Registration Command, an organization that searches for and recovers fallen American soldiers, disinterred the American remains from the cemetery for identification, according to the agency. (RELATED: On Memorial Day, Take A Moment To Remember All The Heroes Who Never Made It Home)

The bodies were exhumed and sent to a laboratory at an Air Force base in Nebraska for further identification and examination. Scientists used dental, anthropological and DNA analysis to identify Howie, according to the press release.

Howie is set to be laid to rest on June 3 in Chester, Illinois, 80 years after he was killed.

The remains of 18-year-old Medal of Honor recipient Army Pfc. Luther Herschel Story were brought back home to Georgia after being identified in April, 73 years after his death. Story was last seen alive in 1950 by members of the 9th Infantry Regiment when North Korean troops closed in on them during the Korean War. Story stayed behind to cover his peers’ retreat so as not to slow them down.