BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (AP) — The remains of a West Virginia pilot killed behind enemy lines during World War II have been identified, officials said.
Scientists used dental, anthropological and DNA analysis to confirm the identity of U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Richard W. Horrigan, 24, of Chester, news outlets reported, citing a statement Wednesday from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
Horrigan was a pilot with the 22nd Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, serving in Germany and was part of an armed reconnaissance mission in April 1945 to the Alt Lönnewitz Airfield. He crashed while shooting at enemy planes parked at the airfield, likely due to anti-aircraft fire, the statement said.
Horrigan could not be recovered because the airfield was behind enemy lines, the statement said.
Officials investigating the site in 2017 located Horrigan’s plane. The site was excavated in 2019 and remains found were sent for identification.
A rosette will be placed next to Horrigan’s name on the Tablets of the Missing at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery to show his remains have been found and identified.