The remains of three U.S. airmen whose planes went down in World War II, one in Europe, one in what is now Vietnam and the third on Tarawa, a Pacific atoll, have been recovered.
Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Walter B. Stone was accounted for Feb. 20 and AAF Staff Sgt. Carl M. Shaffer was accounted for Dec. 20, according to separate Feb. 25 announcements from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
AAF Tech. Sgt. Alfred R. Sandini was accounted for Feb. 12, the agency announced Feb. 14.
In October 1943, 2nd Lt. Stone was serving as a pilot in the 350th Fighter Squadron, 353rd Fighter Group, VIII U.S. Fighter Command, according to the agency. He was killed Oct. 22 when his P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft crashed behind enemy lines in northern France during a bomber escort mission. Search and recovery operations were not possible.
Stone’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Ardennes American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Neupré, Belgium, along with others missing from WWII. Because he is now accounted for, a rosette will be placed next to his name.
Staff Sgt. Shaffer was a member of the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, stationed at Hawkins Field, Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, when the B-24J bomber aircraft he was aboard crashed into Tarawa lagoon shortly after takeoff Jan. 21, 1944. Shaffer and the nine other servicemen aboard the aircraft were killed.
His name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl in Hawaii, along with others missing from WWII. A rosette will also be placed next to his name.
Tech. Sgt. Sandini was a member of 22nd Bombardment Squadron, 341st Bombardment Group, in February 1944 and served as a radio gunner aboard a B-25C aircraft, according to the agency. On Feb. 15, the aircraft he was aboard crashed, most likely due to enemy anti-aircraft fire, near the Do Len Bridge in Thanh Hoa province, French Indochina, now known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Sandini’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in the Philippines, along with others missing from WWII. He too will get a rosette.