North Texas WWII Airman Identified 74 Years After Plane Shot Down - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

North Texas WWII Airman Identified 74 Years After Plane Shot Down

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    N. TX WWII Airman Identified 74 Years After Plane Shot Down

    A North Texas airman missing since 1944 is finally headed home. DNA tests positively identified McKinney High School graduate Bobby Younger decades after his plane was shot down over Germany. (Published Saturday, June 23, 2018)

    A North Texas airman missing since 1944 is finally headed home. 

    DNA tests positively identified McKinney High School graduate Bobby Younger decades after his plane was shot down over Germany. 

    Wednesday he'll be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery along with four other men from his crew. 

    Younger enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps within months of graduating high school and enrolling at Texas A&M.

    Overseas, he found himself in the belly of a B-17 bomber known as the "Flying Fortress."

    As a belly ball turret gunner, Younger had one of the most dangerous jobs during World War II. He sat inside of a glass bubble on the bottom of the plane. It was so compact, gunners were required to be 5 feet, 4 inches tall or shorter.

    There was no room for a parachute and Younger was protected only by a glass shield. The plane was often attacked from below, leaving the belly turret gunner completely exposed to enemy cannons, machine guns and flak from artillery on the ground.

    On November 2, 1944, Younger was on his 13th mission with the 91st Bomb Group working to destroy a chemical plant crucial to the Nazis. During the mission, enemy fire took down eight of the 16 planes, including Younger’s.

    In 1951, the American Graves Registration Command concluded that five unaccounted for airmen had died in that crash, with their remains also were unaccounted for.

    Back in McKinney, Bobby Younger was honored for his sacrifice. His name is listed on the Wall of Honor at the Collin County Veterans Memorial Park, his portrait is among those in the Hall of Heroes at the Russell A. Steindam Courts Building and his personal belongings are on display at Chestnut Square Historic Village.

    Chestnut Square will host an open house Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. allowing people to tour the room left to look like his in order to learn more about his life.

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