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Missing WWII soldier's body identified, returning to St. Louis area

After nearly 80 years, Melvin B. Meyer was identified through dental records and DNA.

ST. LOUIS — A missing World War II soldier was accounted for in September 2022 and was recently identified after nearly 80 years.

First Lieutenant Melvin B. Meyer, 25, joined the 309th Bombardment Group in 1944. He was from Pattonville, Missouri. 

He was the bombardier on a B-17 Flying Fortress with a crew of ten. They took part in a bombing mission where they were shot down by enemy jets 28 miles northeast of Leipzig, Germany. 

Six out of the ten members survived the crash but Meyer was one of the four who did not survive. A local civilian cemetery was thought to have buried the crash victims. 

Meyer was declared dead a year after the crash due to no evidence of his survival. 

It wasn't until July 2012 that an investigation team from the Joint POW/MIA Account Command found the crash site and recovered evidence of the B-17 crash. In 2019, the area was excavated and recovered material evidence and human remains. 

Meyer was recently identified through dental records and DNA with the help of the Defense POW/MIA Account Agency. He will be laid to rest in St. Louis. 

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