CRANSTON, R.I. — An airman from Rhode Island killed in World War II is returning home for burial.

The Rhode Island National Guard announced Friday that the remains of Army Air Forces 1st Lt. John D. Crouchley Jr., a pilot with the 828th Bombardment Squadron, 485th Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force, will arrive at T.F. Green Airport next Thursday, and a funeral is scheduled for May 4 at the North Burial Grounds in Bristol.

According to the military, Crouchley was the pilot of a B-24H Liberator that during a mission over Romania in June 1944 was shot down and crashed near Churen, Bulgaria.

Before the crash, the 26-year-old Crouchley continued to pilot the aircraft, allowing nine other crewmembers to bail out and survive.

He was declared dead. His remains were recovered in 2017 by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and positively identified last September.

Crouchley will receive several posthumous medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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