Saturday, April 26, 2008

Remains of 11 WWII Airmen Identified

The remains of 11 airmen whose bomber disappeared during a World War II mission over the southwestern Pacific have been identified and are being returned for burial with military honors, Pentagon officials said Friday.
The men were members of the Army Air Forces 43rd Bomber Group, 63rd Bomber Squadron. They were listed as missing after their B-24 Liberator, the Swan, failed to return from a mission on Dec. 3, 1943.
The crew had departed from New Guinea on a reconnaissance mission over New Hanover Island in the Bismarck Sea. They reported dropping their bombs on target but, despite several radio contacts with their base, never returned.
The remains were recovered between 2004 and 2007 after members of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command located and excavated a site on New Guinea where wreckage had been spotted by native hunters four years earlier.
Scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA and dental records to positively identify some of the remains, the military said. Some of the crewmen were also identified through circumstantial evidence, including identification tags.
Kathleen Lund - sister of 2nd Lt. Ronald F. Ward of Cambridge, Mass. - said searchers found two of his rings at the crash site, including Ward's high school graduation ring.
"This is going to be such a closure for my family," said Lund, who lives near Boston.
The pilot, Capt. Robert Coleman, was an athletic instructor from Wilmington, Del., who enlisted in September 1941. Military officials said Coleman's family did not wish to comment.
In addition to Ward and Coleman, the airmen have been identified as 1st Lt. George E. Wallinder of San Antonio; 2nd Lt. Kenneth L. Cassidy of Worcester, Mass.; 2nd Lt. Irving Schechner of New York; Tech. Sgt. William L. Fraser of Maplewood, Mo.; Tech. Sgt. Paul Miecias of Piscataway, N.J.; Tech. Sgt. Robert C. Morgan of Flint, Mich.; Staff Sgt. Albert J. Caruso of Kearny, N.J.; Staff Sgt. Robert E. Frank of Plainfield, N.J.; and Pvt. Joseph Thompson of Compton, Calif.
A funeral for Morgan was held Thursday in Holly, Mich., followed by burial at Great Lakes National Cemetery.
Donald Morgan of Flushing, Mich., who was 11 when his brother died, described him as "a great guy" who wanted to go to college and study engineering.
Morgan said his brother's remains were identified through analysis of a piece of bone less than an inch long.
A group casket will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and be marked by a headstone with all 11 names, said Larry Greer, a spokesman for the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office.
"In a larger group like this, there is always hundreds of skeletal fragments that could not be individually identified. Those are collected in a group and placed in a single casket," he said.

WWII Mysteries Solved
Scientists used DNA, dental records and other evidence like identification tags to identify the remains of a WWII bombing squadron that vanished over the Bismarck Sea in 1943. The remains were uncovered from 2004 through 2007 in wreckage found by hunters in New Guinea.
Hikers found this parachute wedged between rocks Aug. 15 in Kings Canyon National Park in California. With it were the remains of an airman who had been missing since late 1942. Last month, the military identified the remains as those of Ernest G. Munn, 23, of St. Clairsville, Ohio.
Munn was taking part in a training flight that vanished over this area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range near Fresno on Nov. 18, 1942. He was with two other cadets and a lieutenant in an AT-7 Navigator aircraft. Authorities searched for a men for a month after their disappearance but came up empty. In 1947, hikers found some of the plane's wreckage.
In October 2005, hikers found the first set of human remains associated with the flight. One of the bodies found was identified as that of Leo M. Mustonen.
There are some of the personal effects that recovered with Mustonen's body. They include clothing, coins and paper. The bodies of the two others on the flight have yet to be found, but search efforts are continuing.
Mustonen holds niece Mary Ruth Mustonen in an undated family photo. Another niece, Leane Mustonen Ross, said the family felt "absolute elation and joy," after his remains were identified. He was buried in his hometown of Brainerd, Minn.
In other news...Kelly Clarkson Shares Naked Tendencies
Kelly Clarkson has undergone several transformations in her relatively short career. Among them: Her hair, her clothing style and not to mention her musical style, as evidenced on her self-professed "edgier" sophomore album. Most recently, it seems Clarkson is ramping up her ongoing quest to shake her "good girl" image.
Us Weekly reports that the 26-year-old Grammy-winning singer loves to walk around her house naked. The kicker? It's not just an alone habit, like plucking your eyebrows or doing an facial mask. A source told the gossip rag that Clarkson prances around in the buff even when her home is "filled with strangers for photo shoots or fittings."
Kelly! That is just nasty!
Come on! At least keep some of your dignity!
Frustrated Fliers Turn Woe Into Web Hit
Pop songwriters tend to take on the epic subjects -- love and death and cosmic befuddlement. But it's the little things, the daily chores and tribulations, that take up most of our time and energy.
No one's writing songs about the rising cost of gas or commuter traffic. In London, however, headaches over the rampant problems at Heathrow Airport's new Terminal 5 have inspired two sufferers to address the issue in rhyme.
Tens of thousands of ordinary people have endured mass tedium at Heathrow, where the ballyhooed opening of British Airways' supposedly state-of-the-art Terminal 5 has been marked by a colossal failure of a sophisticated baggage-claim system, hundreds of canceled flights and excruciating delays.
Two transplanted New Zealanders saw the occasion as a ripe opportunity for comedy. 'The Terminal 5 Song,' their acoustic rap on the woeful debacle, has become a surprise web hit and may soon be released as a single. When Andy Baynes flew to Italy on British Airways for his wedding, the airline lost his suit and his bride's gown. Baynes, a better man than most, channeled his frustration into creativity.
The video he made with partner Tim Soong features the singer lamenting the loss of his bags, shaving in the terminal bathroom and parading around in his boxer-briefs and black socks. Fifteen hours in line, stuck in an elevator with an anonymous groper, and all he can get out of airline officials is a weak cheerio about the fact that the Queen herself cut the ribbon on the terminal.
"They needed a bit of a ribbing," Baynes said, "and we were happy to oblige."
Now if we can only get him to turn his attention to those impossible-to-open little bags of peanuts.
No. There should not be a song about the peanuts. It's a stupid idea.
Losing your posessions is important. Someone not being able to open a bag of peanuts on a plane is not an important matter. I am sorry. Get over it. And who is so bored and pathetic enough to even consider writing a song about airplane peanuts? Gosh! What has the world come to?!?! This is so stupid. And I might just rant about how stupid it is. But I will not. Why? Because I do not feel like it right now. So ha!
But what disturbs me is the thing with Kelly.
She should know that you don't just flaunt everything you've got to everyone you see. Like I said, keep some dignity! I doubt that she even has much dignity left. I mean, look at her. Who would want to be like...that? I definitely wouldn't. She is jsut messed. And she was on American Idol. I don't hate the show...well actually, i do. But anyways, the show is trash and who cares that she won? So does that make her queen of all low level trash? Yes. Because she was on the same show as Paula Abdul. And Paula is one crazy mess. I swear. She must be smoking something backstage. Her behavior is just not right. I am sure you know what I mean. I am bored of this right now. Uh...come back again!

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