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Remains of Downed World War II Pilot Recovered in France

Monday, January 13, 2020

Pilot McGowanBENSON, MINNESOTA—Forum News Service reports that the remains of a World War II pilot have been identified as U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William J. McGowan by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency through dental records, anthropological analysis, and other evidence recovered from the crash site. McGowan was 23 years old when he was shot down on June 6, 1944, near Saint-Lô, France, during the D-Day invasion. The crash site was first investigated by the American Graves Registration Command in 1947, when wreckage was removed from the impact crater. Human remains were not recovered, however, until an excavation team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Agency traveled to the site in 2018. McGowan’s remains will be laid to rest at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. To read about a coded message that may have been sent during the D-Day landings, go to "Let Slip the Pigeons of War."

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