The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that of U.S. servicemen, missing from World War II, have been accounted for and their remains are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William P. Cook, 27, of Alameda, Calif., Staff Sgts. Maurice J. Fevold, 21, of Chicago, and Frank G. Lane Jr., 21, of Cleveland, and Sgt. Eric M. Honeyman, 21, of Alameda, Calif., have been accounted for and will be buried with full military honors. Cook was buried Oct. 18, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. Fevold was buried Oct. 20, 2014, in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Lane will be buried May 2, 2015, in Willoughby, Ohio, and Honeyman will be buried at a date and location still to be determined.
On Dec. 23, 1944, Cook along with five other B-26G Marauder crewmembers took off from Saint Quentin, France, on a mission to bomb an enemy-held bridge in Eller, Germany. The aircraft was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire near Seffern, Germany, near the Belgium border.
Following World War II, the Army Graves Registration Command (AGRC) conducted extensive field investigations and was unable to locate the aircraft and the crew. In May 1949, AGRC concluded the crew members were unrecoverable.
In 2006, a group of aviation researchers located the wreckage of a B-26G near Allmuthen, Belgium and notified the U.S. Army Mortuary Affairs Activity – Europe. In 2007, a Department of Defense (DoD) team investigated the site and recommended it for excavation.
In 2012 and 2013, DoD teams excavated the crash site and recovered human remains and non-biological material evidence.
To identify Cook’s remains, scientists from DoD and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including mitochondrial DNA, which matched Cook’s maternal-line cousins.
To identify Honeyman’s remains, scientists from DoD and AFDIL used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools including, partial Y-Chromosome Short Tandem Repeat (Y-STR) DNA, which matched Honeyman’s paternal-line cousins.