Watch CBS News

Remains of WWII airman from St. Paul identified

Minnesota WWII airman identified after nearly 80 years
Minnesota WWII airman identified after nearly 80 years 00:35

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The remains of a WWII U.S. Army Air Forces Sergeant have been identified after nearly 80 years.

Sgt. Donald R. Duchene of St. Paul was accounted for on July 8, 2022. He was killed in battle in the summer of 1943.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Duchene was serving as the tail gunner on a B-24 Liberator aircraft during Operation TIDAL WAVE when the plane was was hit and crashed. The operation was the largest bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries north of Bucharest, Romania.

Duchene was buried at the Bolovan Cemetery in Romania as an unknown and eventually interred at an American cemetery in Belgium. 


In 2017, DPAA started exhuming unknowns of airmen believed to be associated with Operation TIDAL WAVE. Duchene was identified through anthropological and dental analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence.

He will be buried in Minneapolis.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.