Remains of WWII veteran killed in action flown back to Texas
SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (KLTV) - A community comes together to honor a World War II pilot who was killed in action, as his remains are returned home almost 80 years after his death.
At West Oaks funeral home in Sulphur Springs, the community and local veterans gathered to pay respects to U.S. Army Air Force Second Lieutenant David Murrel Lewis.
“I’m here to honor Lieutenant Lewis, one of the brothers in arms of the great generation,” said U.S. Army World War II and Korean War veteran Victor Cheny.
A member of the 9th Air Force, Lewis was killed in action in August 1943, during a bombing raid over the Romanian Ploesti oils fields.
“It was called operation Tidal Wave. They went in on a mission that was 100-to-300 feet in altitude, which was very dangerous. Decided that was much safer for civilians, so they were trying to save civilian lives,” said Lewis’ cousin, Vivian Dennis-Monzingo.
Through DNA, his remains were identified in May of 2022 and returned to Sulphur Springs this past week.
“My uncle, his father, died wondering. We are so elated that we are able to bring him home,” Vivian said.
With military honors, a ceremony was held to recognize a long-lost hero.
“We have to honor our fallen. We have to honor our troops. We’re family at the end of the day. There’s no time limit on honor. It could be 200 years,” said Army Captain Gwendolyn Bastian.
“It’s our honor to come do it, to stand for the fallen,” said Patriot Guard member John Herrington.
Their observance proves honor has no time limit.
“Lewis finally made it home,” Cheny said.
A memorial service will be held for Lewis tomorrow at Old Saltillo United Methodist Church, and afterwards he will be laid to rest at Old Saltillo Cemetery.
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