World War II Airmen’s Remains Identified

Defense Department forensic scientists identified the remains of seven airmen who had been missing in action since April 10, 1944, when enemy forces shot down their B-24D Liberator over Madang, New Guinea, announced the Pentagon. They are: Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William D. Bernier, 28, of Augusta, Mont.; 1st Lt. Bryant E. Poulsen, 22, of Salt Lake City; 1st Lt. Herbert V. Young Jr., 23, of Clarkdale, Ariz.; TSgt. Charles L. Johnston, 20, of Pittsburgh; TSgt. Hugh F. Moore, 36, of Elkton, Md.; SSgt. John E. Copeland, 21, of Dearing, Kan.; and Sgt. Charles A. Gardner, 32, of San Francisco. Defense officials are returning the airmen’s remains to their families for burial with full military honors, according to DOD’s Oct. 31 release. Bernier’s interment took place on Sept. 19 in his hometown. Young’s burial happened in Prescott, Ariz., on Oct. 15. Moore is scheduled for burial on Nov. 11 in his hometown. The other airmen will be buried at dates and locations still to be determined, states the release. In 2001, a US-led team located the B-24D’s wreckage. This led to the recovery of human remains and material evidence that enabled the identifications.