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WWII Remains Identified as Those of Rutland Native

U.S. Air Force

SPRINGFIELD - The remains of an Illinois native shot down over Germany 74 years ago during World War II have been identified.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced last week that it had identified 28-year-old Herbert W. Harms.

He was a native of Rutland, 120 miles (193 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

Harms was an Army Air Force tail-gunner on a B-17 bomber. His plane was shot down on a mission to Zeitz, Germany on Aug. 16, 1944. Eight of nine crewmembers bailed out safely and were held as prisoners of war.

Crash site remains could not be linked to Harms. New evidence led to exhumation in September 2017 and DNA and other tests showed the remains to be Harms'.

There are nearly 73,000 World War II service members still unaccounted for.



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