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US aviator shot down in WWII to be buried with full military honors

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In this World War II-era photo, made available Dec. 11, 2013 courtesy Dept. of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office, previously missing in action U.S. Army aviator Capt. Franklin B. Tostevin is pictured.AP

A U.S. aviator who was shot down over Germany during World War II will be buried with full military honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver after his remains were recovered in 2008 and later identified using DNA.

U.S. Army Air Forces Capt. Franklin B. Tostevin, 22, of Westfield, New Jersey, will be buried Friday, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Tostevin was shot down on March 20, 1945, while piloting an F6-P — a converted P-51 Mustang — on a reconnaissance mission over Cologne, Germany. It was his 159th mission as a reconnaissance pilot, said his nephew, Daniel Tostevin, of Erie, Colorado

Franklin Tostevin had flown missions from England and, later in the war, Belgium, his nephew said. He photographed German defenses in Normandy, France, prior to the D-Day landing there of Allied forces in June 1944.

He was shot down two days shy of his 23rd birthday, his nephew said.

In 2006, a German citizen led a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command to a crash site near the town of Eigen (EYE'-gen). The command is the Pentagon unit charged with finding and identifying missing U.S. military personnel from conflicts overseas.

A JPAC recovery team excavated the site in 2008, recovering remains and personnel effects. The remains were identified as Tostevin's in DNA testing at JPAC's laboratory in Hawaii, and his family was notified Oct. 30, Daniel Tostevin said.

Franklin Tostevin was a member of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group of the Army Air Forces.

"The fact that he has been brought home and will be laid to rest among his comrades at Fort Logan is a wonderful thing," Daniel Tostevin said. "Uncle Franklin was truly a courageous man. He did his duty."

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