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WWII pilot from Idaho accounted for 80 years after his P-38 “Lightning” was shot down

WWII pilot from Idaho accounted for 80 years after his P-38 “Lightning” was shot down


2nd Lt. Allan W. Knepper took off from Tunisia in his P-38 “Lightning” jet as “one in all many fighter waves” set to assault enemy Axis forces in Sicily, Italy on July 10, 1943. 

Throughout the assault, air forces have been dispatched each half-hour, dodging enemy hearth as they strafed an armored German column. 

Knepper, 27, and the forty ninth Fighter Squadron encountered heavy anti-aircraft hearth. One other pilot reported witnessing his aircraft “veer all of a sudden skyward earlier than rolling midway over and plummeting to the bottom.” No proof was discovered that he deployed his parachute, and Knepper was declared lacking in motion, his stays by no means discovered. 

Now, greater than 80 years later, the Protection POW/MIA Accounting Company has introduced that they’ve accounted for Knepper’s stays, bringing peace to his final surviving member of the family. 

The DPAA didn’t specify how they accounted for Knepper, or what stays of his have been used to make the identification. Because the Nineteen Seventies, the company has accounted for the stays of almost 1,000 People who died throughout World Conflict II. The stays are returned to households for burial with full army honors, the company mentioned. 

Knepper was memorialized on the Tablets of the Lacking at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Italy, based on HonorStates.org, a web site monitoring army members. The army usually marks such names with a rosette or different image as soon as their stays have been accounted for, however the DPAA didn’t say if this could be carried out for Knepper. 

Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial
The Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Italy.

Getty Pictures/iStockphoto


Knepper posthumously obtained a Purple Coronary heart and an Air Medal, the location mentioned. 

Knepper’s life has additionally been memorialized in “The Jagged Fringe of Obligation: A Fighter Pilot’s World Conflict II.” The e book, written by historian Robert Richardson, tracks Knepper’s life and dying and even provided some perception about the place his stays is perhaps discovered. It additionally provided closure to Knepper’s solely surviving relative, 79-year-old Shirley Finn. 

“I felt like I lastly met my brother,” mentioned Finn in an interview with the Lewiston Tribune. Finn is Knepper’s half-sister, the paper mentioned. Finn mentioned that her household “by no means misplaced hope” that Knepper’s stays could be discovered. 

“I’m tremendously grateful for (Richardson),” she advised the Lewiston Tribune in 2017. “I did not assume anybody could be serious about studying a e book about my brother. I did not assume different folks would care. It simply did not happen to me.”

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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