The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Hulen A. Leinweber, 21, of Houston, killed during World War II, was accounted for on June 20, 2018.
On June 10, 1945, Leinweber, a member of 40th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group, was piloting a P-51 aircraft, on a strafing mission targeting a large convoy north of Payawan in Infugao Province, Republic of the Philippines. The aircraft reportedly was struck by anti-aircraft fire, causing the right wing to break off. Leinweber’s aircraft crashed just south of Ilap village. The American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) searched the area south of Ilap village between August 26-28, 1947, locating wreckage but recovering no remains. In October 1947, Leinweber’s remains were declared non-recoverable.
Between March and July 2017, a Joint University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) Recovery Team (RT1) excavated a site believed to be associated with Leinweber’s crash. The recovery team found material evidence and possible osseous remains. The remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Leinweber’s remains, scientists from DPAA used laboratory analysis, to include dental comparisons and anthropological analysis, as well as material and circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the University of Illinois at Chicago and the National Museum of the Philippines, as well as the Philippine government for their partnerships in this mission.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,771 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Leinweber’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site, in Taguig City, Philippines, along with others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For funeral details and family contact information, contact the Army Casualty office at (800) 892-2490.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.