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Bodies of WW2 bomber crew ID'd

June 22, 2011 at 4:07 PM

WASHINGTON, June 22 (UPI) -- More than 60 years after a U.S. bomber crashed in the Philippines, the remains of its crew have been returned to their families, the Defense Department said.

U.S. Army Air Force Capt. Leonard E. Orcutt of Alameda, Calif., and his crew died on April 3, 1945. Another air crew reported seeing Orcutt's plane, a B-25J Mitchell bomber, stall after taking off from Palawan Airfield.

Tech. Sgt. Louis H. Miller of Philadelphia, Staff Sgt. George L. Winkler of Huntington, W.Va., 2nd Lt. Harry L. Bedard of Minneapolis and 2nd Lt. Robert S. Emerson of Norway, Maine, were also killed.

The remains of the crew were recovered in the late 1940s and 1950s and buried together at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. A relative asked about identifying them as individuals in 2001, something that was possible because of DNA technology.

Orcutt was buried May 5 in Oakland, Calif., and Winkler the same day in Arlington National Cemetery. Miller was buried at Arlington last Friday.

Bedard is to be buried this Friday in Dayton, Minn., and Emerson July 9 in Norway.

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