World War II Airmen’s Remains Laid to Rest

Two airmen who had been missing in action in the western Pacific since late 1943 were buried with full military honors on Wednesday. SSgt. Claude A. Ray, 24, of Coffeyville, Kan., was laid to rest in Fallbrook, Calif., while SSgt. Claude G. Tyler, 24, of Landover, Md., was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Their burials came on the same day that the Defense Department announced the recovery of their remains and their return to their families. Ray and Tyler were among the 12-member crew that took off in a B-24D bomber on a reconnaissance mission from an airfield near Port Moresby, New Guinea, on Oct. 27, 1943. The aircraft never returned. A DOD forensic team excavated a crash site in Papua, New Guinea, in 2007, recovering Ray’s and Tyler’s remains. (For more on Ray, see Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times report.)