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Old 04-28-2005, 02:06 PM
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Default WWII Missing in Action Serviceman Identified


NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense

No. 352-05
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 12, 2005
Media Contact: (703)697-5131
Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

WWII Missing in Action Serviceman Identified


The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced
today that the remains of an Army Air Forces crewman have been identified and are
being returned to his family for burial with military honors.



Staff Sgt. Robert W. McKee of Garvey, Calif., will be buried in
Arlington National Cemetery April 12.



On Dec. 17, 1944, McKee was an aerial gunner on an 11-member crew of a

B-24L *Liberator* that took off from Pantanella, Italy, on a mission to bomb enemy
targets near Blechhammer, Germany. The aircraft crashed over Hungary, near the
small towns of B?h?nye and Felsosegesd, with the loss of two crewmen including
McKee. The other nine were able to safely parachute from the aircraft. Following
the war, the remains of the other unaccounted-for crewman were found in a cemetery
in Felsosegesd.



Following the war, remains from an American aircraft crash near Vienna,
Austria, were found buried with McKee's military identification tag. But the
remains were identified as those of another flyer. Further analysis revealed that
McKee had flown on the same plane and had lost his identification tag, most likely
on that aircraft.



In 1992 an undertaker recovered remains believed to be those of an
American in the B?h?nye, Hungary, cemetery but they could not be associated with a
specific incident. DPMO analysts obtained information from a Hungarian researcher
which indicated that the remains might be associated with McKee's loss. Aerial
gunner's wings were found in the grave, as well as other items worn by U.S. bomber
crews in 1944.



Scientists of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces
DNA Identification Laboratory used a number of forensic tools including
mitochondrial DNA to confirm McKee's identity, matching his DNA with that of two
known maternal relatives.



Of the 88,000 Americans missing from all conflicts, 78,000 are from
World

War II.



For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to
account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call
(703) 699-1169.
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