Remains of WWII pilot discovered embedded in tree in Germany 72 years later | World War II | plane crash | buried
The remains of a fighter pilot from World War II, have recently been discovered, 70 years later. The family of the deceased has finally found the closure they needed.
US. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. William Gray of Kirkland, Washington, was 21 years old when he was sent for a dive-bombing mission on April 16, 1945, during WWII. His plane clipped a tree and crashed in Lindau, Germany.
After more than 70 years, his family finally found the closure they needed when his body was discovered. The investigators were in Lindau on another recovery mission when two people who knew of the plane’s crash site showed them where to look.
“The bones that they found were embedded in the tree,” said his niece, Jan Bradshaw, to Q13 Fox. Bradshaw’s brother, Doug Louvier added, “It grew over his remains and really protected and marked the spot.”
The siblings’ father, 1st Lt. Jim Louvier and Gray were best friends. They promised to take care of each other’s family if anything happened to one of them. Jim Louvier kept his promise when he returned home from war and married Gray’s younger sister.
“I know he loved her dearly and committed to her for 64 years before he died,” Bradshaw said. Her father died in 2010 at the age of 89.
However, the family didn’t know what to do with Jim Louvier’s ashes until now. “We couldn’t decide what to do and now we know why,” Bradshaw said. Both were laid to rest in their final resting place at Tahoma National Cemetery. They were also given a military burial with honors.