Remains of World War II Airman Recovered

Defense Department forensic scientists identified the remains of 2nd Lt. Jimmie D. Collins III, 22, of Sylacauga, Ala., an airman missing in action since World War II, announced the Pentagon. They are returning Collins’ remains to his family for burial with full military honors on June 29 in his hometown, states DOD’s June 11 release. Collins went missing on June 21, 1944, when the B-24H Liberator he was co-piloting crashed near Hoofddorp, Netherlands, while returning from a bombing mission against German forces near Berlin. One of the 10 crewmembers parachuted from the aircraft and fell into German captivity; the Army Air Forces declared Collins and the eight other airmen killed in action. After the war, US teams recovered and identified the remains of seven of the missing airmen, leaving only Collins and another airman unaccounted for. Many years later, in April 1997, a Dutch air force team recovered remains and personal effects that the forensic scientists identified as belonging to Collins.