viernes, 31 de mayo de 2013

Remains of veteran killed in 1946 crash identified, laid to rest after decades ... - New York Daily News

He'll be home for the holidays – 66 years after he passed away.

The family of Army staff sergeant Zoltan Joseph Dobovich, who died in a plane crash during the aftermath of World War II, is welcoming home his remains.

Dobovich was one of eight who died on November 1, 1946, when a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed at Aiguille des Glaciers, in the French-Italian Alps. The plane was flying from Naples, Italy, to England, according to Dobovich, a 21-year-old from Pennsylvania, was the radio operator that night. He radioed in a successful takeoff. That was the last time anyone heard from the crew.

The plane missed clearing a mountain peak by only a few yards, according to an Air Force report. The explosion that followed scattered remains of the eight soldiers on both French and Italian ground.

The wreckage was found on July 28, 1947. Since the crash site was on a glacier 12,000 feet up in the Alps, it took decades to recover what was left of the bodies. As the glacier retreated over the years, more of the site was uncovered. Remains were found by both the U.S. and Italian military authorities throughout the 1970s and 1980s. All remains were buried together in a single grave at Arlington National Cemetery, unidentified.


But thanks to the work of scientists at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Honolulu, Dobovich's remains have finally been found. On Christmas eve, an honor escort flew the veteran's remains from an Air Force base in Hawaii to Philadelphia International Airport.

Several veterans organizations will honor Dobovich as he is laid to rest. The Patriots Guard and Warriors Watch escorted Dobovich's hearse on the way to the Perinchief funeral home in Mt. Holly, N.J.

At Governor Christopher Christie's request, flags will fly at half staff at all New Jersey state facilities on Thursday in remembrance of Dobovich's service to the country, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Dobovich is survived by his niece Rosalie Baker, and two nephews, Joseph Dobovich and Carlton Dobovich.

According to Carlton Dobovich, his uncle joined the military on Dec. 7, 1943, exactly two years after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Dobovich will be laid to rest in the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Burlington County, New Jersey.

In 2006, Zolton Dobovich's brother and fellow military vet, Anthony Dobovich, was buried in the same cemetery.

"It really feels good knowing he's been identified and we'll have him close so we can visit him," Carlton Dobovich told the Inquirer.

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