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Remains buried in Romania identified as Kansas airman killed during WWII

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) on Tuesday announced remains of a 23-year-old U.S. Army Air Forces staff sergeant from Seneca, Kansas were accounted for in July. The DPAA said the remains of Staff Sgt. Moses F. Tate were buried in Romania.

“In the summer of 1943, Tate was assigned to the 415th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force. On Aug. 1, 1943, the B-24 Liberator aircraft on which Tate was serving as a gunner was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and crashed during Operation TIDAL WAVE, the largest bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, north of Bucharest, Romania,” the DPAA explained. “His remains were not identified following the war. The remains that could not be identified were buried as Unknowns in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania.”

In 2017, the DPAA began exhuming remains believed to be associated with unaccounted-for airmen from Operation TIDAL WAVE losses. Those remains were sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Scientists then worked to identify them.

“To identify Tate’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological and dental analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence,” the DPAA explained. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.”

The DPAA said Tate’s name is inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery in Impruneta, Italy, along with others still missing from WWII. A rosetta (rose-shaped ribbon) placed next to Tate’s name will indicate he’s been accounted for, the agency said.

Burial for Tate is set for Oct. 27 in Springfield, Mo.

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