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Remains of Pittsburgh WWII pilot missing in action since 1943 identified

CBS News Live
CBS News Pittsburgh Live

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The remains of a WWII pilot from Pittsburgh who was declared missing in action in 1943 have been identified. 

On July 10, 1943, 27-year-old U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Gilbert H. Myers was co-piloting a B-25 Mitchell during a bombing mission over Sicily when he was hit, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said.

His remains weren't recovered, and he was declared missing in action. 

In 1994, American Graves Registration Service researchers learned that residents of Sciacca had found a body belonging to the B-25 pilot at a crash site. Investigators said they found more remains of the wreckage but nothing else. 

The remains of U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Gilbert H. Myers have been identified. He was 27 when his B-25 Mitchell was hit over Sicily in 1943.  (Photo provided by Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

Later in 1947, investigators conducted search and recovery operations near Sciacca, but the DPAA said they weren't able to find anything to link back to Myers. 

In 2021 and 2022, the DPAA and partner organization personnel returned to Sciacca, where they were able to recover additional pieces of a plane wreck and human remains, which were sent to a lab for examination and identification. 

Scientists used anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence to identify Myers. Other scientists also used mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.

Myers' name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Nettuno, Italy, along with others still missing from WWII. The DPAA said a rosette will be placed next to his name to show he's been accounted for. 

He'll be buried on Nov. 10 in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

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