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Oklahoma WWII soldier accounted for decades after bomber crash

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Wayne L. Dyer
Posted at 11:07 AM, Nov 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government announced Tuesday that an Oklahoma man killed during World War II has been accounted for.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency accounted for 22-year-old U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Wayne L. Dyer on Sept. 9, 2022, years after finding the site of the crash that killed him.

The DPAA says Dyer was the navigator of a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber during a mission over Leipzig, Germany on May 29, 1944. Enemy fighters attacked the bomber's formation roughly 28 miles northeast and shot Dyer's plane down. Six of the 10 crew members escaped before it crashed near Horst, while the rest died.

Bodies recovered from the crash were believed to have been buried in a local cemetery. Delays due to the Cold War led to Dyer being declared non-recoverable on April 21, 1953.

In July 2012, investigators found the crash site and three years later received permission to excavate. Excavation took place in 2019 where remains found were eventually sent to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

DNA analysis helped scientists identify Dyer's remains. His burial will take place on an undetermined date in Killeen, Texas.

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