The remains of an U.S. Army Airman from Maine who was killed during World War II have been identified, according to officials.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Friday that U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Richard G. Salsbury, 19, of Canaan, Maine, who was killed during World War II, was accounted for in September 2021.
In the summer of 1943, Salsbury was assigned to the 345th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force.
On Aug. 1, 1943, the B-24 Liberator aircraft on which Salsbury was serving as a gunner crashed as a result of enemy anti-aircraft fire during Operation TIDAL WAVE, the largest bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, north of Bucharest, Romania.
His remains were not identified following the war. His remains were buried as Unknowns in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery in Romania.
Following the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC), the organization that searched for and recovered fallen American personnel, disinterred all American remains from the cemetery for identification.
The AGRC was unable to identify more than 80 unknowns from the cemetery, and those remains were permanently interred at Ardennes American Cemetery and Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, both in Belgium.
In 2017, DPAA began exhuming unknowns believed to be associated with unaccounted for airmen from Operation TIDAL WAVE losses. These remains were sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.
To identify Salsbury’s remains, scientists from DPAA used DNA, dental, and anthropological analysis.
Salsbury’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Impruneta, Italy, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Salsbury will be buried in his hometown of Canaan. The date has yet to be determined.