The remains of an airman missing since World War II have been found in Germany and will be returned to his family for a military burial, the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced this week. US Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Stephen V. Biezis of Chicago was the copilot of a B-26C Marauder that crashed just before Christmas in 1944. He and his crew, all from the 575th Bombardment Squadron, were on a bombing mission near Ahrweiler, Germany, when the plane was hit by enemy fire. Biezis’ copilot, 1st Lt. James F. Gatlin, and three crew members were reported killed in action. One crew member survived the crash and was held as a prisoner of war by German forces, but later told US officials he wasn’t sure what happened to the rest of the crew. The remains of two crewmen were found near the crash site after the war, and another crewman was found and returned to his family in 2011. Gatlin was identified and buried in Florida in January. Biezis will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 14.
Nov. 29, 2020