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Remains of 9 airmen of WWII coming home

WASHINGTON (AP) — The remains of nine U.S. airmen, missing in action since a World War II mission over Germany, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The men were aboard a B-24J Liberator on a mission to bomb a German aircraft factory near Bernburg, Germany. The plane, which departed North Pickenham, England, was last seen by U.S. aircrew members in that area. Captured records showed that it crashed near Westeregeln, about 20 miles northwest of the target, the Defense Department said.

A group of German citizens learned of a potential crash site south of Westeregeln in 2001. Later that year and in early 2002 they uncovered human remains from what appeared to be two burial locations, the Pentagon said. The remains, including identification tags, were turned over to U.S. officials.