Missing for 70 years, the remains of Clinton, Iowa native U.S. Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Louis Longman was buried Saturday. In his honor, Gov. Branstad has ordered all U.S. and state flags be flown at half-staff until 8 a.m. Monday.
The 26-year-old serving with the 433rd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Corps was last seen April 16, 1944 as his unit returning from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea encountered bad weather. The 5th Air Force lost 53 pilots and crewmen that day in what became known as “Black Sunday.”
Longman was officially declared deceased on February 27, 1946, but his remains were never recovered. In February 2005, the Joint Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command - Central Identification Laboratory received information of a possible aircraft crash site in Madang province, Papua New Guinea. In August 2007, human remains, as well as parts of a U.S. P-38J aircraft were recovered by a JPAC Investigation Team. Additional remains and physical evidence were also recovered in 2009 and 2010 by JPAC personnel and those remains were identified as Longman's in 2011.
He was born January 23, 1918 in Murdock, Minnesota and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Clinton, Iowa in 1936. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 19, 1942.
A memorial service and interment was held at Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery in Illinois with full military honors provided by the Iowa National Guard.