World War II Airman Identified

Posted 3 April 2013
B-24D File Image

The US Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced on 29 March 2013 that the remains of Army Air Forces 1st Lt. John E. Terpning, of Mount Prospect, Illinois, had been identified. On 7 May 1944, Terpning was a pilot of a Consolidated B-24D Liberator that departed Nadzab, New Guinea, on a bombing mission. After a delayed takeoff, the aircraft, Terpning, nor the nine other crewmen were ever seen again. The wreckage was found in 1973, but because of limited technology to identify individuals, the human remains were buried together in Arlington National Cemetery in 1974. A second expedition in 1978 discovered additional remains. Terpning was identified through mitochondrial DNA. He was buried with full honors at Arlington on 3 April.

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