ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A World War II pilot was laid to rest in St. Petersburg on Friday, 80 years after he was declared missing in action.
U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Gilbert H. Myers, age 27, co-piloted a plane that was shot down near Sicily, Italy on July 10, 1943, according to a news release from the Army.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native went unaccounted for until Aug. 10, 2023, when he was identified using a combination of DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence.
Witnesses saw a crew member jump out of the B-25 before crashing, but there was no record of survivors or of soldiers taken as a prisoners of war, according to a release from the U.S. Army.
In 1944, researchers with the American Graves Registration Service discovered that residents of Sciacca, Italy, found human remains and wreckage from the crash site. However, they were not linked to Myers.
Additional remains were discovered among wreckage in 2021 and 2022. A Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory analysis found they belonged to the missing pilot.
His remains were buried in St. Petersburg on Friday after they were flown back to the U.S. The memorial service can be viewed in the video player above.
Myers’ name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy, along with other WWII service members who are still missing. An Army spokesperson said a rosette will be placed next to his name, indicating that he has been accounted for.