The remains of an Army Air Forces captain who went missing in action during World War II have been returned to his family and will receive a burial with full military honors off the coast of Newport Beach, the Department of Defense said.
George W. Grismore of Salt Lake City and five crew members departed Tanauan Airfield in the province of Leyte, Philippines, on March 12, 1945, for a resupply mission to guerrilla troops. Their C-47A Skytrain failed to return, and a search that extended 10 miles wide on each side of the intended route revealed no trace of the men or their aircraft. The men's remains were determined nonrecoverable. Grismore was 30 years old when he went missing.
In 1989, a Philippine National Police officer contacted U.S. officials about a possible World War II-era plane found near Leyte. Unable to investigate the crash site due to unrest in the region, scientists instead analyzed the human remains and aircraft parts turned over to them.
After two decades, Grismore was identified through forensics, including mitochondrial DNA matching that of his nephew. A memorial for Grismore was held Saturday in Salt Lake City. The at-sea burial is scheduled for Wednesday.
According to the Department of Defense, more than 72,000 Americans are unaccounted for from World War II.