Remains of WWII Airmen Identified

The DOD POW/Missing Personnel Office announced identification of the remains of four airmen, part of a 10-man B-17 crew lost in the Pacific in 1943. The airmen were on a bombing mission over Papau New Guinea in their B-17 Naughty but Nice on June 26, 1943, when the bomber was hit by antiaircraft fire and ultimately shot down by a Japanese fighter aircraft. The four airmen were: 1st Lt. William J. Sarsfield of Philadelphia; 2nd Lt. Charles E. Trimingham of Salinas, Calif.; TSgt. Robert L. Christopherson of Blue Earth, Minn.; and TSgt. Leonard A. Gionet of Shirley, Mass. Their remains are to be buried as a group in a single casket at Arlington National Cemetery. Previously, DOD had identified other members of the crew that perished in the crash: 2nd Lt. Herman Knott, 2nd Lt. Francis G. Peattie, SSgt. Henry Garcia, SSgt. Robert E. Griebel, and SSgt. Pace P. Payne—all of whom were buried individually in 1985. A 10th airman, 2nd Lt. Jose L. Holguin, was the only survivor and was held as a prisoner of war until 1945.