Second World War Canadian flyer identified 72 years later
OTTAWA – The Defence Department says the remains of a Second World War airman found in a German lake in 2008 have been identified as those of Flight Sgt. John Joseph Carey of Ottawa.
Carey was 22 years old and the front air gunner in a Royal Air Force Halifax bomber when it took off for a raid against Germany on Aug. 28, 1942.
The plane was shot down by a fighter aircraft and crashed in Laacher See, a lake south of Bonn, Germany.
In 2008, a team of German explosives-disposal experts conducted several dives on the crash site to assess the stability of the aircraft’s cargo and in the process, recovered human remains.
A genetic donor for Carey was located in December last year and the results of the genetic testing were received in February.
Carey’s family have been notified and his remains are to be buried at Rheinberg War Cemetery in Rheinberg, Germany, on July 9, with family members and representatives of the Canadian Forces in attendance.
“It is important for us to pause, and to note the importance of the recovery of Flight Sgt. Carey,” said Lt.-Gen. Yvon Blondin, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“We must not cease to honour the sacrifice of those who came before us, and in doing so provide a sense of closure to the families and to their brothers and sisters in arms.”
© The Canadian Press, 2014