WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTAJ) — A Pennsylvania pilot who was declared missing in action during World War II was accounted for 80 years later.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Monday that the remains of U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lieutenant Gilbert H. Myers, 27, of Pittsburgh, were accounted for on Aug. 10. Myers was killed during the summer of 1943 when his aircraft was shot down over Sicily, Italy.
The pilot was assigned to the 381st Bombardment Squadron, 310th Bombardment Group, in the Mediterranean Theater. On July 10, he was serving as a co-pilot on a B-25 Mitchel bomber when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire during a bombing mission.
According to Myers DPAA profile, witnesses saw one crew member bail out of the B-25 before it crashed and exploded. Myers’ remains were not recovered.
During search and recovery operations in 1944 and 1947, Italian residents of Sciacca reported finding the body of a B-25 pilot at a crash site. Investigators were able to find remains of the wreckage but were unable to find anything linking back to Myers.
In 2021 and 2022, the DPAA and personnel at the Cranfield University Recovery and Identification of Conflict Team found plane wreckage and human remains at the crash site in Sciacca.
Myers’ remains were identified after scientists used anthropological analysis, DNA testing and circumstantial evidence. His name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. A rosette will be placed next to his name to show he has been accounted for.
The Pittsburgh native will be buried on Nov. 10 in St. Petersburg, Florida.