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WWII veteran’s remains sent to Texas for burial 80 years after his death

A Texas-born World War II pilot’s remains have been returned to the Lone Star State for burial, according to FOX 4 Dallas.

Second Lt. David Murrell Lewis served as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces. The 20-year-old died in action when his aircraft crashed on Aug. 1, 1943.

Lewis’ aircraft crashed in Romania during Operation Tidal Wave, which sought to impede the Axis powers’ access to oil-based fuel by bombing refineries.

Lewis died days away from his 21st birthday. He first volunteered for service on Jan. 8, 1942.

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Lewis smiling in uniform

Second Lt. David Murrell Lewis died in action when his aircraft crashed on Aug. 1, 1943. (FOX 4 Dallas)

Lewis’ burial was scheduled to take place in Saltillo, Texas, on Sunday. Family and supporters were present during a procession when his remains arrived at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Friday.

Vivian Dennis-Monzingo, Lewis’ closest living relative, said she received a notice from the Army in 2014 stating they were looking for the serviceman’s remains. He was finally identified on May 11, 2022, through the work of the Army’s Mortuary Affairs service.

“It’s hard to describe the emotions. Welcome home, and then I wish all the families could say that because we still have ones missing,” Dennis-Monzingo explained to FOX 4. “At family gatherings, it would come up in the conversations, and of course it was always the doubt, what happened? Where? It was a mystery. All they knew is he was killed in action.”

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Lewis and fellow WWII soldiers

Lt. Lewis’ remains were finally identified in 2022 through the work of the Army’s Mortuary Affairs service. (FOX 4 Dallas)

“We’re so glad we can do this in honor of his mom and dad,” she added.

A funeral for Lewis will take place in Sulphur Springs, FOX 4 reported.

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David Murrel Lewis in uniform

Lt. Lewis’ aircraft crashed in Romania during Operation Tidal Wave in World War II. (FOX 4 Dallas)

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