Military Air Pressure Pilot From Pennsylvania Killed Throughout WWII Accounted For, Authorities Say

An Military Air Pressure pilot from Pennsylvania killed throughout World Conflict II has been accounted for nearly eight many years later, army authorities stated.

The Protection POW/MIA Accounting Company stated final week that 2nd Lt. James Litherland, 25, of South Williamsport was accounted for in March.

In February 1944, Litherland was co-piloting a B-17F Flying Fortress that was struck by anti-aircraft fireplace after a bombing raid on a German V-2 rocket website in Bois-Coquerel, France. Three airmen parachuted to security however Litherland and 6 different crew members had been nonetheless on board when the aircraft crashed close to Le Translay, France, authorities stated.

Six units of stays had been recovered close to the crash website however solely 5 had been recognized. In 2018, extra materials was recovered from the crash website and the unknown stays had been exhumed from a cemetery in France. Dental and anthropological evaluation and DNA proof was used to determine the stays as these of Litherland, officers stated.

Litherland’s daughter, Suzanne Walker, referred to as the efforts to determine his stays “superb,” reported. Born on the day of the crash—“I think about the grief of my mom”—Walker stated she realized the restoration staff used Google maps to find the crash website and did a hand dig to seek out the stays, which included considered one of his canine tags she now has.

“That was the most important shock,” she stated. “I by no means anticipated it.”

Walker stated she has little memorabilia about her father and hopes somebody comes ahead with footage or different gadgets. By means of her analysis, she has realized he was an outdoorsman and with buddies constructed a toboggan slide on the aspect of the mountain close to their house.

She thinks about “what he could have been.” He would now be a great-grandfather.

Litherland can be laid to relaxation in Williamsport. Walker stated she had the chance to have her father buried in France however “needed him to be together with his household.” His father and grandfather are buried in Wildwood Cemetery, the place there’s a gravestone for him, she stated.

Literland’s identify is recorded on the Tablets of the Lacking at Ardennes American Cemetery in Neupré, Belgium, together with others nonetheless lacking from WWII. Army authorities say a rosette can be positioned subsequent to his identify to point that he has been accounted for.