The remains of Army Air Forces SSgt. Zoltan J. Dobovich, 21, of Rieglesville, Pa., who had been missing in action since 1946, were laid to rest late last month. Dobovich was interred with full military honors on Dec. 27 at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wrightstown, N.J. (Video of ceremony) He was one of eight crewmembers aboard a B-17G Flying Fortress that went missing after departing from Naples, Italy, on Nov. 1, 1946, bound for Bovington, England. In 1947, a French military unit recovered human remains from the wreckage of a US aircraft in the French-Italian Alps, near Estellette Glacier, according to the Defense Department’s release last month on Dobovich. Technology limitations of the time prevented the identification of the individual crewmembers, so the Pentagon interred them as a group at Arlington National Cemetery. Between 1983 to 1999, additional remains and personal effects were recovered at the crash site. In 2010, due to technology advances, DOD forensic scientists were able to identify Dobovich’s remains. The remains of TSgt. William S. Cassell of Mt. Airy, N.C., one of Dobovich’s crewmates, were laid to rest in October in Amelia, Va.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.