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P51 Mustang Found In France

Mon Feb 26, 2001 2:29 pm


AP Top News - 02/25/2001

Pilot Remains Found Near Border

MAUBEUGE, France (AP) -- The remains of a U.S. serviceman whose plane crashed in France during World War II were found last week in a northern French village, police said Sunday.

Skeletal remains and parts of a fighter plane were found Thursday in a soggy field that was being drained, said Michel Archimbault, a French police squad commander.

Some of the pilot's personal effects were also found, including dog tags that gave his name, William W. Patton, and serial number, Archimbault said. A uniform indicated the serviceman was an Air Force lieutenant, Archimbault said.

Luc Druet, the farmer who owns the field, discovered the wreckage after finding five machine guns at the site. Further digging uprooted a propeller, a motor -- and then the cockpit.

Experts who examined the plane said they believed it was a Mustang P51 that crashed in December 1944. Other information about the pilot, including his hometown, was not immediately known.

Archimbault said the discovery was a ''very emotional one'' for the French residents of the area.

''He's a hero to us,'' Archimbault said. ''He's someone who died for us so we could be free. We are very moved by this.''

Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Paris could not be reached for comment on Sunday. Archimbault said local authorities had notified the embassy and an investigation was under way to verify the pilot's identify and find his family. U.S. officials were expected to head to the site Tuesday to collect the remains.

NATO authorities have also been notified.

AP-NY-02-25-01 1824EST< 


Once upon a time, men were willing to sacrifice their lives for their fellow men. How times have changed. May this pilot finally rest in peace.

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RE: P51 Mustang Found In France

Mon Feb 26, 2001 2:33 pm

May he rest in peace now after all these years.
God bless his soul.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin