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Remains Of WWII Fighter Pilot Are Found 70 Years Later And Returned To His Family

The remains of a World War 2 fighter pilot who died during a 1945 mission over Germany have been found and returned to his family over 70 years after. Investigators discovered William J. Gray Jr.'s remains embedded in the roots of a tree in Lindau, a small town near the southeast border of Germany.

Gray Jr's remains were flown back to Seattle, Washington on Wednesday and he was buried next to his best friend Jim Louvier, who returned home from the war, married Gray's younger sister and went ahead to fulfil his promise to take care of Gray's family before he died in 2010.
Gray and Jim enlisted in the US Air Force together and promised to take care of the other's family if either of them failed to make it home. Gray, who had already completed more than 68 missions, was carrying out another bombing on April 16, 1945, when his plane clipped a tree and crashed. When his body was not found, his family members mourned him and made peace with the fact that he may never be found. 
However, investigators who were searching Lindau on another recovery mission found Gray's bones last year. A tree had already grown over his remains. DNA testing allowed authorities to match the bones to Gray sisters and the result showed they were the first lieutenant's remains.
Jim Louvier, who died in 2010 at the age of 89, was cremated but his family couldn't decide what to do with his remains. When Gray's bones were flown back to Washington, Jim's family decided to bury them together. Gray was given a military burial alongside his best friend at the Tahoma National Cemetery.

"I think they are having a cold drink up there smacking their glass together and saying we are finally back together," Gray's nephew and Jim's son Doug Louvier told Fox.

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