4-23-05- An Oklahoma solider missing in action for more than six decades was laid to rest in McAlester Saturday. Army Lt. John Hancock was shot down in WW II, but his remains were just recently identified.
Family, friends and veterans of three wars gathered in McAlester today for the burial of the remains of a World War II pilot from Haileyville, whose B-17 was shot down 62 years ago.
First Lieutenant John Hancock was laid to rest with full military honors during a ceremony that inluced a firing squad salute.
Hancock and the other six members of the flight crew had been
declared missing in action in November 1942 after their plane
failed to return from a nighttime bombing mission over the Solomon
Islands. His relatives later learned the plane was hit byanti-aircraft fire.
For decades, they never knew what had happened to him until
2001, when a villager led an Army team to a crash site in New Guinea that contained remnants of Army Air Corps flight jackets, pistols and an identification bracelet with the name John Hancock inscribed on it.
DNA on some bones that were found helped make the final identification.