The human remains of a Tuskegee Airman may have been found at a crash sight in Austria, the Washington Post reports.
Pilot Capt. Lawrence Dickson’s plane went down over Italy two days before Christmas in 1944, during World War II and forensic scientists are working on finding out if the bones found belong to him.
Dickson’s daughter, Marla L. Andrews, 75, was contacted by the Army’s Past Conflict Repatriations Branch about her father, who she never met.
“Have you found his body?” Andrews told the caller when asked by the Washington Post. “No, but we’re looking,” she said the representative of the Branch said.
Andrews and other family members provided DNA samples to see if it matches with the remains.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) confirmed with the Post that its conducting tests, but that there’s a possibility they may not be able to identify if the remains are of Dickson.
If confirmed, it would be the first missing Tuskegee Airman found since the war ended 73 years ago.
Dickson, who was on his 68th mission his plane went down, was a part of over 900 black pilots who trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, according to the article.
After the war ended, Dickson’s wife and Andrews’ mother, Phyllis C. Dickson, wrote a letter to the War Department about her missing husband.
“Please believe me when I say I have been greatly distressed,” she said in the letter. “I have tried to be brave (but) it has really been an effort. “I meet the mailman daily hoping & praying for some news but so far none.”
Andrews recognizes that the process to identify her father’s remains may take some time, but hopes she’s still around when the results come in.
“At this age, I’m supposed to know that you roll with the punches,” she told the Post. “You take it as it comes.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.