HOUSTON — The remains of a World War II aviator from Texas missing since a 1945 crash in the Philippines have been located and identified.
Leinweber was with the 40th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Group. On June 10, 1945, he was on a strafing mission, targeting a large convoy north of Payawan in Infugao Province, Philippines, when his P-51 was hit by anti-aircraft fire, causing the right wing to break off and the aircraft went down.
The American Graves Registration Service searched an area south of Ilap village during August 1947 and found wreckage but no remains. In October 1947, Leinweber’s remains were declared non-recoverable.
Between March and July 2017, a Joint University of Illinois at Chicago and National Museum of the Philippines Recovery Team excavated a site believed to be associated with Leinweber’s crash.
The recovery team found material evidence and possible osseous remains. The remains were sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification.
DNA analysis helped identify Leinweber, who was accounted for on June 20.