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News Release

Press Release | Dec. 9, 2013

Airman From WWII Accounted For (Tostevin)

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

U.S. Army Air Forces Capt. Franklin B. Tostevin, 22, of Westfield, N.J., will be buried Dec. 13, in Denver, Colo. On March 20, 1945, Tostevin was the pilot of an F-6P aircraft that was shot down while on a reconnaissance mission in Cologne, Germany. Tostevin’s wingman flying the same mission reported seeing the crash about 10-15 miles southeast of Cologne. In 1949, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service interviewed local villagers and determined that the remains of Tostevin had been buried in a cemetery in the nearby town of Much. The remains were not recovered from the cemetery to be returned to the U.S. at that time.

On May 2, 2006, a German citizen led members of a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) investigative team to a World War II crash site near the town of Eigen. The team located human remains and aircraft wreckage that tentatively correlated to Tostevin’s aircraft.

In August 2008, a JPAC recovery team excavated the crash site and recovered additional human remains and personal effects.

To identify Tostevin’s remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools including mitochondrial DNA, which matched Tostevin’s cousin.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. There are more than 73,000 servicemen whose remains were never recovered.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at or call (703) 699-1169.