Harlingen native killed in WWII to be buried in Arlington National Cemeterydfwnewsa | October 30, 2023 | 1 | East Texas News , South Texas News
A Harlingen native who was killed during World War II will be laid to rest Tuesday in the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, or DPAA, identified Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Porter M. Pile’s remains on Nov. 28, 2022, through anthropological and dental analysis and circumstantial evidence. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also used DNA to identify his remains.
Porter, who was assigned to the 700th Bombardment Squadron, 445th Bombardment Group, 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force, was 24 when the B-24H Liberator bomber on which was serving as a navigator was shot down over Germany on Sept. 27, 1944.
He was part of a large mission to bomb the industrial city of Kassel in northern Hesse, Germany, according to a press release from the U.S. Army.
“During the mission the formation of aircraft encountered heavy resistance from enemy ground and air forces, which resulted in the rapid loss of 25 Liberators,” the release stated. “Several of the crew aboard Pile’s aircraft were able to bail out, and witnesses who survived did not report seeing him escape the aircraft.”
Six of the nine crew members aboard Pile’s aircraft were killed.
“His body was not recovered and the Germans never reported him as a prisoner of war,” the release stated.
The War Department issued a finding of death for Pile on Sept. 28, 1945.
After the war, the American Graves Registration Command, or AGRC, began working to investigate and recover missing American personnel in Europe. They found the crash site near the town of Richelsdorf, Germany, but there was no trace of Pile.
In 2009, an investigation resulted in the discovery of parachute fabric and other debris, which led to an excavation. By 2016, a team had discovered Pile’s remains, which were later identified.
“Pile’s name is recorded on the Wall of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in England, along with the others still missing from World War II,” the release states. “A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.”
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