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News & Stories
News | Jan. 10, 2017

Airman Missing From World War II Identified (Carlson)

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Charles E. Carlson, missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.

On Dec. 23, 1944, Carlson was a P-47 pilot with the 62nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, and was shot down south of Bonn, Germany, during an air battle between American and German pilots. His wingman believed that Carlson had bailed from the plane. German officials reported finding and burying Carlson’s remains at the crash site near Buschhoven, Germany.

An investigation after the war by the American Graves Registration Command in 1948 found material evidence and eyewitness testimony linking a crash site near Buschhoven to Carlson’s plane. However, efforts to find his remains at the site were unsuccessful.

In March 2008, an independent German researcher contacted the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (now DPAA) with information regarding a plane crash near Buschhoven. He informed analysts that a local German resident had found parts of an aircraft and other material evidence consistent with a P-47 aircraft.

Between May 2008 and September 2009, JPAC historians conducted more interviews of potential eyewitnesses and research on the site of the crash. Based on information gathered during this work, JPAC investigators recommended excavation of the Buschhoven site for possible remains.

In October 2015, an independent organization, History Flight, Inc., conducted a preliminary investigation of the crash site. Through a partnership agreement with DPAA, History Flight conducted recovery efforts between Feb. 2, 2016 and May 17, 2016, where they found material evidence, aircraft wreckage and possible human remains. The remains were accessioned to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

Laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.

Interment services are pending.

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Public Affairs Contact Information

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency PAO
Washington, D.C.
2300 Defense Pentagon
Attn: Outreach and Communications
Washington, D.C. 20301-2300