ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Pentagon says the remains of an American pilot shot down in Europe during World War II are being returned to his New York family for burial 73 years after he died.

U.S. military officials said Tuesday that Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert Mains, of Rochester, was the 27-year-old pilot of a B-24 Liberator taking part in a raid over Germany in April 1945.

His plane was shot down by enemy fighters near the German town of Ludwigslust. Only one member of the 10-member crew survived.

In 1997, a Pentagon team found aircraft wreckage. Other teams returned in recent years and found bone tissue that was identified as Mains’ using DNA samples provided by his family.

His remains will be buried Saturday in the Long Island hamlet of Wading River.

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  1. Ad Jetten says:

    great news! At last at home
    I adopted his name in the Walls of the Missing at the American Military cemetary in Margraten, the Netherlands. Soon his name will be decorated with a roset, meaning that he is not missing anymore. That will be a fantastic view.
    R.I.P. Robert Mains

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