LIMA, Ohio (WDTN) — The remains of a Lima man killed during World War II have been identified, according to the Defensive POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).
According to the DPAA, U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Carl D. Nesbitt, 23, of Lima was killed during World War II and was accounted for on Sept. 9, 2022.
Nesbitt was assigned to the 569th Bombardment Squadron, 390th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 13th Bombardment Wing, 3rd Air Division, 8th Air Force in May 1944.
The DPAA said Nesbitt was a pilot of a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber during a bombing mission over Leipzig, Germany when the aircraft was shot down. Six out of the ten crew members escaped before the plane crashed, while the remaining four, including Nesbitt, were killed.
There was no evidence that Nesbitt was a prisoner of war or survived, so a Finding of Death was issued a year after the crash.
The American Graves Registration Command worked to recover the remains of fallen service members in Europe after the war and found the remains of one of the crew members aboard Nesbitt’s bomber. The DPAA said that the search for soldiers’ remains was halted due to worsening diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union after 1950 and Nesbitt was declared non-recoverable.
Over half a century later, an investigation team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command found the crash site and was granted permission to excavate in July 2012. Possible material evidence and remains were recovered and identified using mitochondrial DNA analysis.
A rosette will be placed next to Nesbitt’s name on the Tablets of the Missing at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Hombourg, Belgium to mark that he has been accounted for.
The DPAA said that Nesbitt will be buried on May 15, 2023, in Annville, Pennsylvania.