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WWII pilot’s remains found, laid to rest after 72 years

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 12:53:37-04

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – The remains of an Army Air Forces pilot from WWII were laid to rest August 13 after being found in Italy in 2015.

1st Lt. Robert L. McIntosh was 21-years-old in 1944 when he departed Foggia Airfield on a strafing mission and never returned. He crashed his P-38 Lightning after an air battle over Bologna, Italy due to poor visibility.

McIntosh joined the Army Air Forces on August 4, 1942.  After flight training, he flew over South America, Africa, Sardinia and lastly, Italy, where he saw the most action.

During his career, McIntosh earned a distinguished flying cross, was credited with downing four possible Nazi airplanes and was awarded the air medal with six oak leaf clusters.

In August 2015, a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency recovery team excavated his crash site, with help from Archeologi dell’Aria, an Italian non-profit organization.

A single bone fragment was found.

To identify McIntosh’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched two sisters, as well as dental and anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.

McIntosh’s remains were laid to rest in his hometown of Tipton, Indiana.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, more than 400,000 died and 73,000 remain unaccounted for.