Forensic scientists have located missing World War II pilot Gilbert Haldeen Myers after eight decades through DNA analysis. Myers, a 27-year-old US Army Air Force (USAAF) second lieutenant, was part of a six-man crew aboard a USA B-25 Mitchell bomber that took off to attack Tunisia in North Africa in the summer of July 1943. . Sciacca Airport in Sicily, Italy. According to Cranfield University, Myers, who was from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the co-pilot on the bomber.
However, as the B-25 bomber approached its intended target, it was attacked by anti-aircraft fire, resulting in the aircraft losing altitude and crashing into a field about one and a half miles (2.4 kilometers) from the airport. Went.
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According to Whitney, before the B-25 crashed, one crew member ejected from the planeAt that time S.S.S. No one survived the accident. Additionally, there was no record of any passengers being held captive.
Since Myers’ remains were never recovered, he was declared missing in action.
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How was Myers discovered after eight decades?
Nearly 80 years after the B-25 crash, forensic experts from Cranfield University and their colleagues from the U.S. Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPPA) travel to Sciacca to investigate the number of American personnel still missing during World War II. of. , Approximately 72,000 American personnel remain unaccounted for during World War II, and of these, approximately 39,000 are considered recoverable. Earlier, in 1947, search and recovery operations had been conducted near Siakka, but no sign of Myers was found.
Cranfield University and DPAA investigators announced in October 2023 that they had found human remains belonging to Myers. Now he has been detected in America through DNA analysis.
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The Cranfield team, consisting of 20 people, investigated the area around the impact zone, examining tons of soil to recover fragments of human remains to identify the crew members.
In a statement released by Cranfield University, Dr David Erickson, a senior lecturer at the institute, said the deployment was the longest ever for the Cranfield Forensic Institute, and during their operations, they systematically excavated the ground, Examined every piece that could possibly be there. Bone or other evidence. He also said that in challenging environments such as the excavation site in Sicily, the team used wet screening, a process in which excavated material is passed through water to separate and analyze human remains and artifacts. goes.
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Dr. Erickson stated that the recovery of 2nd Lt. Myers’ remains not only facilitates burial with appropriate full military honors, but also allows the family to obtain any personal effects found, and missing in action. Or opens the door to the families of those killed.
The team also recovered parts of the plane’s wreckage and sent human remains to the DPAA laboratory. On August 10, 2023, the remains were identified as Myers’ with the help of DNA analysis.
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