Airman Missing in Action From WWII Identified (Moritz)

Release No: 12-020 April 12, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

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

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Charles R. Moritz, 21, of Effingham, Ill., will be buried on May 5, 2012, in his hometown. On June 7, 1944, Moritz, of the 555th Fighter Squadron, was the pilot of a P-51C Mustang aircraft that collided with another U.S. aircraft while on a training flight over Lincolnshire, England. Moritz was unable to parachute from his aircraft. A witness reported seeing the aircraft crash north of Faldingworth and south of Goxhill Royal Air Force station, however officials were not able to recover Moritz’s remains.

In 2011, local authorities notified U.S. officials of a location containing aircraft wreckage. Human remains and military identification tags bearing Moritz’s name, retrieved from the site, were handed over to a JPAC excavation team. A second excavation of the location recovered additional remains and material evidence including a bracelet with the inscription “Butch Mortiz” and a wallet that contained several cards bearing Moritz’s name.

In addition to the material evidence, scientists from JPAC used anthropological analysis in the identification of Moritz’s remains.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans. Today, more than 73,000 are unaccounted-for from the conflict.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.