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The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Air Forces Sergeant Irving R. Newman, 22, of Los Angeles, California, missing in action during World War II, was accounted for June 20, 2023.
In May 1943, Newman was assigned to the 343d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force, in the European Theater. On May 6, Newman along with the other nine crewmembers of a B-24D Liberator were participating in a bombing mission of Reggio di Calabria harbor, in Sicily. While heading to the target, their plane began experiencing engine trouble forcing the pilots to make a course correction away from the main bomber group, directly into enemy anti-aircraft fire. During an emergency landing the plane caught fire and crashed into the water near Benghajsa Point, Malta, injuring at least five crewmembers. Nine airmen survived the incident, but Sgt Newman was not able to be rescued and his remains were not recovered following the war.
Following the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), Army Quartermaster Corps, was the organization tasked with recovering missing American personnel in the European Theater. In 1949, a board of officers reviewed the AGRS field investigations for 82 personnel missing from the Mediterranean area, including Sgt Newman. The board recommended the individuals be designated non-recoverable. The Identification Branch of the Office of the Quartermaster General approved the recommendation on 6 September 1949.
In recent years, the University of Malta and a private company located the wreckage of a B-24D near Benghajsa Point, Malta, at a depth of 180 feet. Beginning in 2018, a partner organization supported by DPAA archaeology recovered material evidence, life support equipment, and suspected human remains from this crash site.
To identify Newman’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and dental analysis.
Newman’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Impruneta, Italy, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Newman will be buried at a place and time to be determined later.
For family and funeral 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 or find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.
Newman’s personnel profile can be viewed at: https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000001nzaVYEAY.