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Sat, Nov 12, 2011

Airman From WWII Identified

Crewman On An Aircraft Shot Down On A Bombing Run Over Yugoslavia

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) said earlier this week that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and are being returned to the family for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Meceslaus T. Miaskiewicz, 27, of Salem, MA, will be buried on November 12, in his hometown. On May 18, 1944, Miaskiewicz and ten other airmen departed Tortorella Air Field, Italy, on a mission to bomb the Ploesti Oil Refinery in Romania, when their B-17G aircraft was shot down over Yugoslavia – what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina. Three of the crew members were detained as Prisoners of War by German forces, and returned to the United States at the end of the war. The rest of the crew was presumed dead.

In 1947, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service (AGRS) recovered the remains of what was believed to be the missing eight crew members, who had been buried by the villagers of Stubica, near the site of the crash. AGRS identified six of the airmen, and the other two, thought to be Miaskiewicz and one other, were buried as group remains in Farmingdale, N.Y.

In 2011, U.S. government officials were notified that an archeological team from the town of Ljubuski, had disinterred the remains of an American, whose grave had been tended by the villagers of Stubica for more than 65 years. The Armed Forces Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Germany identified the remains as Miaskiewicz.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Armed Forces Regional Medical Examiner’s Office for Europe used dental analysis and mitochondrial DNA — which matched that of Miaskiewicz’s sisters — in the identification of his sremains.

FMI: www.dtic.mil/dpmo

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