Remains of missing WWII vet returned home after 73 years

Published 7:38 am Friday, June 9, 2017

ATLANTA — More than 70 years ago, a U.S. Army bomber plane dubbed “Hot as Hell” was headed for India on a supply mission. It never arrived, and no one went looking for the doomed aircraft or the eight men on board because military officials had no way of pinpointing where it went down.

All signs of the mission were lost until 2006, when a hiker in northeast India spotted a wing and panel sign inscribed with the bomber’s name. It wasn’t until 2015 that the U.S. Defense Department investigated the crash site and found the remains of 1st Lt. Robert Eugene Oxford.

The remains of the WWII veteran arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport about 4 p.m. Thursday, said Terrell Moody of Moody-Daniel Funeral Home, which is handling burial arrangements in Oxford’s tiny hometown of Concord, Georgia.

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Moody said the State Patrol, Patriot Guard and Pike County Sheriff’s Office accompanied a hearse carrying Oxford’s casket on the 50-mile journey from the airport to Concord, where the remains will be buried with full military honors alongside those of Oxford’s parents this weekend. Photos of his seven fellow crewmen, none of whom was ever found, will lie beside the coffin and then be placed inside it for burial.