Missing for 77 years, the World War II pilot from Lansing remains found in Papua New Guinea

LANSING, Michigan – Robert Parker of Lansing, Michigan was declared missing in World War II at the age of 23.

In November 1943, Parker was on a patrol mission in Papua New Guinea when he encountered an enemy aircraft on the southern edge of the Finisterre Range.

He shot down one plane but collided with another and the impact tore off the wing of his plane. He crashed near Saagarak.

Sergeant Sean Everette, public affairs spokesman for the POW / MIA Accounting Agency’s Defense, said, “He has not been rescued based on reports from other pilots who were on the same patrol.”

Parker was declared missing after an unsuccessful area search, but the Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency never stopped looking for him.

“Yeah, it took a long time because it took a long time to find the right clues and the right places and things like that. But it is our solemn duty never to abandon a fallen comrade, and we take that very seriously, ”said Everette.

Everette said they sent an investigation team to a village near where the crash was suspected in 2008.

In 2010, a team of third-party investigators visited an aircraft crash site in Morobe Province, where they found part of a P-40N tail assembly and part of a possible tail number, both of which matched Parker’s aircraft.

The agency returned in 2019 and was able to negotiate with the village to bring Parker’s remains to the U.S. for testing. They adapted his DNA to family members using a DNA reference system.

On March 9, the armed forces identified Parker as responsible.

Parker’s name is on the walls of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines, along with others who are missing from WWII. A rosette is placed next to his name to indicate that it has been considered.

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