? Defense Department forensic scientists identified the remains of two airmen who had been missing in action since World War II, announced the Pentagon. DOD officials returned the remains of SSgt. Robert E. Howard, 21, of Moravia, Iowa, and SSgt. David R. Kittredge, 22, of Oneida, Wis., to their families for burial with full military honors. Howard’s remains were interred on July 19 in Moulton, Iowa, while Kittredge’s remains were buried on Aug. 13, in Green Bay, Wis., according to the Aug. 20 release. Additional remains that DOD could not individually identify will be buried as a group in a single casket at a future date at Arlington National Cemetery. Howard and Kittredge were in a B-26B Marauder shot down on April 16, 1945, during a bombing raid on Wittenberg, Germany. After a German national reported finding possible human remains in 2012, a US accounting team excavated the site and recovered human remains, personal effects, and aircraft wreckage. The forensic scientists used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons to identify the two airmen.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.