Remains of Utah pilot killed in WWII finally returned for proper burial

The remains of a World War II pilot shot down in Germany have arrived back in his home state of Utah to be buried.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield’s remains are set to be buried Thursday, 74 years to the day since Hadfield’s crash, FOX 13 reported.

Hadfield will be buried Thursday — the anniversary of his death — in Bluffdale Veterans Memorial Park cemetery after a funeral service at Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary in Sandy. The funeral, with full military honors and a military aircraft flyover, will begin at 11 a.m., three seconds before the time of day that the plane crash was recorded.

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Hadfield, from Salt Lake City, was piloting a bomber plane from France to Germany just months before the end of World War II when it was struck by anti-aircraft fire and crashed somewhere near the German city of Dulmen.

Hadfield was 26 during his last bomber mission, meant to obstruct German troop movement as Allied forces crossed the Rhine River two days later.

This 1945 photo provided by the Utah National Guard shows Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield. The remains of Hadfield, a World War II pilot shot down in Germany, have arrived back in his home state of Utah, where they are expected to be buried. (Utah National Guard via AP)

This 1945 photo provided by the Utah National Guard shows Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield. The remains of Hadfield, a World War II pilot shot down in Germany, have arrived back in his home state of Utah, where they are expected to be buried. (Utah National Guard via AP)

A German researcher found evidence of a crash site in 2016 in Hulsten-Reken, about 10 miles away.

It was Hadfield’s plane.

A DNA analysis confirmed the remains belonged to Hadfield and his crew members.

The excavation team also recovered Hadfield’s officer wings and his ID tag, which were given to his relatives.

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“I didn’t think that after 74 years he would come back, and I would be here to see it,” said Mary Ann Turner, Hadfield’s daughter.

Turner was 2 years old when her father was killed.

“It gives me peace that I haven’t known my whole life,” Turner said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.