WASHINGTON (AP) — The remains of a U.S. airman whose plane was shot down over Germany during World War II have been accounted for, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday.
U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Edgar L. Mills, 25, of Tampa, Florida, was shot down July 18, 1944, during a bombing raid on enemy aircraft and air defense installations around Memmingen, Germany, the agency said in a news release.
The pilot of the B-17G ordered the crew to bail out. Six crewmembers parachuted to safety, while five others, including Mills, were believed to have remained on board, the news release said.
Mills’ body was not recovered at the time, and Germany never reported him as a prisoner of war, the agency said.
In 1946, the American Graves Registration Command was tasked with recovering missing Americans in Europe. Investigators searched the crash site in Germany and discovered two other sets of remains.
The War Department declared Mills dead on July 26, 1951.
In 2012, an investigation of a crash site near Kimratshofen, Germany eventually led to a mission that recovered possible human remains in 2018.
A team from the University of New Orleans continued work at the Kimratshofen site and transferred recovered material to a lab at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
There, scientists used dental records, mitochondrial DNA and anthropological analysis to identify Mills.
He was officially listed as accounted for on Feb. 13.
Mills’ name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Epinal American Cemetery in Epinal, France. A rosette will now be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Mills will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.