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Coming home after 70 years

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  • Coming home after 70 years

    New York airman’s remains arrive home decades later
    August 3, 2013

    This undated handout photo provided by the Licari family shows World War II airman Sgt. Dominick Licari, right, with other airmen.

    Albany, New York: Many saluted, some cried and a few held signs. But for 70 miles, hundreds of people paid their respects to a Second World War airman who died in combat in the South Pacific almost 70 years ago and was finally returned to his upstate home on Friday. Funeral director Vincent Iocovozzi, who escorted Sgt. Dominick Licari’s remains from the Albany airport to the small town of Frankfort, said there’s “only one word that describes this: unbelievable”.
    “He’s a man who has been dead longer than most people have been alive, but he’s a hero coming home,” Iocovozzi said.

    Veterans’ groups, businesses and residents along a 10-mile stretch of the Mohawk Valley paid tribute to Licari as his remains made the journey home. Honour guards from Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion chapters were posted along Route 5 as the vehicle procession carrying his casket left the New York State Thruway at Little Falls and travelled to Frankfort, west of Albany. A commercial flight carrying Licari’s casket arrived at the Albany airport, and military pallbearers carried the casket from the plane to the hearse Friday evening, Iocovozzi said. Licari’s brother and sister and several nieces and nephews were at the airport to accompany his casket back home, with the Patriot Guard motorcycle riders providing an escort, said the funeral director, a distant relative of the Licari family.

    Licari was a 31-year-old gunner aboard a two-man Army Air Force A-20 Havoc bomber that crashed into a jungle-covered mountain in Papua New Guinea on March 13, 1944, while returning from a bombing raid on a Japanese airfield. The pilot, 2nd Lt. Valorie Pollard, of Monterey, Calif., also was killed, along with four airmen in two of the mission’s other A-20s that slammed into the mountain in bad weather. Licari, one of nine children, was officially declared dead in 1946. Last month, US military officials notified his two surviving siblings that his remains and those of Pollard were found and identified. Licari’s funeral and burial with full military honours are set for Tuesday in Frankfort. Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed lowering flags on state government buildings to half-staff on Tuesday to honour Licari. Pollard’s burial arrangements are pending, a Pentagon official said.
    Source: Gulf News

    After 70 years of being lost in the wilderness... Welcome Home and Rest in Blessed Peace

  • #2
    The oceans and those jungles hide many a grave.

    Present Arms.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain


    • #3
      Present Arms.


      • #4
        salute, glad he made it home.

        Recently Germany just got 21 sons home as well, they had been waiting in France since 1918.

        Bodies of 21 German soldiers buried alive in WW1 trench found perfectly preserved 94 years later | Mail Online

        Article also mentions the Commonwealth is still missing 165,000 sons from WWI.

        Germany locates and reburies 40,000 missing sons a year from WWI and II

        Germany Tracing Its War Dead from World War II - SPIEGEL ONLINE

        Sad that so many young men vanish into the maw....
        Last edited by zraver; 04 Aug 13,, 02:49.


        • #5
          I think Nth Vietnam alone still has hundreds of thousands unaccounted for from their war. Periodically Australians are still located & identified in France (WW1) and the Pacific (WW2).

          A good news story broadly on topic. Last night I had dinner with a fellow from Korea. His oldest brother was thought to have died in the Korean War. The family mourned him as dead. Decades later he was found to be alive in Nth Korea where he now had a family. Several family members have even been able to meet him.

          Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C


          • #6
            Originally posted by zraver View Post
            Sad that so many young men vanish into the maw....
            VfK, the German war cemetary care organisaton, as mentioned in the Spiegel article maintains a publicly accessible database that is about 85% complete and currently contains files on 4.6 million German soldiers that were KIA or MIA in WW1 or WW2 and are buried in official soldier cemetaries. What SPON doesn't say is that it doesn't contain repatriated remains buried in civilian cemetaries, of which there are millions for WW1 alone.

            Oddly enough it only contains two relatives of mine (both brothers of my grandfather) btw.
            Last edited by kato; 12 Aug 13,, 15:50.