Photo courtesy of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Remains of Massachusetts pilot who crashed during WWII ID’d

February 25, 2019 - 7:35 am

The remains of an airman whose plane crashed during a bombing run in World War II have been identified.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Friday that it officially confirmed on Dec. 13 that bones found in France belong to Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Burleigh E. Curtis, of Holliston, Massachusetts.

The agency says the 22-year-old was piloting a P-47D Thunderbolt that crashed during a dive-bomb attack near Briouze, France, on June 13, 1944.

He was not seen bailing out.

A French cabinetmaker who witnessed the crash reportedly buried the remains the next day. Military officials went to recover them in 1947, but none could be found.

A nongovernmental organization, with help from French officials, excavated the site in 2017 and recovered Curtis’ possessions and possible bones.

They were identified using anthropological analysis and other methods.

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