Pentagon analysts have identified the remains of five airmen missing in action from World War II, according to a May 2 release. They are: 1st Lt. Cecil W. Biggs, Teague, Tex.; 1st Lt. William L. Pearce, San Antonio; 2nd Lt. Thomas R. Yenner, Kingston, Pa.; TSgt. Russell W. Abendschoen, York, Pa.; and SSgt. George G. Herbst, Brooklyn. They crewed a C-47 Skytrain on Sept. 21, 1944, that crashed after delivering Polish paratroopers to a drop zone in Holland for Operation Market Garden. The Germans opened dykes to flood the area before a search for remains could begin; Dutch residents who returned to their homes the next year found the remains and buried them in a cemetery. A US Army team disinterred the remains and buried them as a group at a national cemetery in Kentucky. In 1994, a Dutch citizen located more remains and artifacts from the crash site that eventually came to US officials.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.