Missing For 67 Years, WWII Airman To Be Buried In Riverside

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A World War II airman missing for nearly seven decades is making his final flight.

Pilot Disappeared Over New Guinea On Final Mission: KNX 1070’s Tom Reoppelle

The skeletal remains of Army Air Corps Staff Sgt. Claude Ray are scheduled to arrive in San Diego next Monday, where his closest living relative will accept them.

The Coffeyville, Kan., native will be buried Wednesday at Riverside National Cemetery — 67 years to the day his plane vanished.

Ray and 11 others were on a B-24 bomber that disappeared in 1943 over Japanese-occupied New Guinea. A villager found the wreckage in 2003. The Army used DNA tests to identify Ray’s remains this year.

Ray’s nephew, Burt Risser, tells the North County Times that Ray had completed his required number of missions to return home to Kansas but volunteered for a final mission as a tail gunner.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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