1st Lt. Archibald Kelly of the U.S. Army Air Forces was buried with full military honors. Kelly was the navigator on a B-24J Liberator participating in a July 22, 1944, bombing raid of oil fields at Ploesti in Nazi-controlled Romania. The bomber was struck by anti-aircraft fire while returning to its base in Italy and crashed in what is now Croatia, about 430 miles southwest of Ploesti. Of the 10 crewmen on board, eight survived and bailed out of the aircraft before it crashed. The rear gunner died and his body was later recovered. A surviving crewman saw Kelly bail out before the crash, but said he struck a rocky cliff face when the wind caught his parachute. Kelly's body was not found at that time. Specialists from the Missing Personnel Office in 2005 interviewed residents who had information about World War II aircraft losses in the Dubrovnik area. One witness recalled a crash in which a crewman landed on a pile of rocks after his parachute failed to open. Local residents buried the soldier, but searchers could not locate the gravesite. The witness contacted U.S. authorities last June and said he had continued the search and found the gravesite. A recovery team found human remains at the site in September, and Kelly was identified through dental records and other forensic methods.
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You died on the same day the plane my grandfather flew in was shot down. You are a brave person and I thank you for your services. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. -
Miss Tea Added: Jan. 19, 2012