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Remains of bomber crew interred in Arlington

TOKYO — The remains of nine servicemen, missing in action from World War II, were buried in a single casket Wednesday in Arlington National Cemetery, the Department of Defense announced.

Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William J. Sarsfield, 2nd Lt. Charles E. Trimingham, Tech. Sgt. Robert L. Christopherson and Tech. Sgt. Leonard A. Gionetwere buried in a single casket along with the remains of their previously identified crew members. The others are: 2nd Lt. Herman H. Knott; 2nd Lt. Francis G. Peattie; Staff Sgt. Henry Garcia; Staff Sgt. Robert E. Griebel; and Staff Sgt. Pace P. Payne, who were individually buried in 1985.

The nine airmen were on a bombing mission over Rabaul, Papau New Guinea, on June 26, 1943, when their B-17E Flying Fortress was damaged by anti-aircraft fire and ultimately shot down by Japanese fighter aircraft.

A tenth man, the navigator and only survivor of the crash — 2nd Lt. Jose L. Holguin — was held as a prisoner of war until his release in September 1945. He returned to the area in 1982 and 1983 to locate the crash site where investigators were able to recover the crew’s remains.

From staff reports

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