The remains of a Redwood City man killed during a training mission in the South Pacific during World War IL have been recovered and will be buried with full military honors, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday.
Military officials said the remains of Tech. Sgt. James A. Sisney of Redwood City, Calif., were among the seven recovered from a crash site on the island of Espiritu Santo.
The other remains have been identified as Marine Corps 1st Lt. Laverne A. Lallathin of Raymond, Wash.; 2nd Lt. Dwight D. Ekstam of Moline, Ill.; 2nd Lt. Walter B. Vincent, Jr. of Tulsa, Okla.; Cpl. Wayne R. Erickson of Minneapolis; Cpl. John D. Yeager of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Pfc. John A. Donovan of Plymouth, Mich.
The men will be buried as a group, in a single casket representing the crew, on Oct. 4, in Arlington National Cemetery.
On April 22, 1944, the Marines were aboard a PBJ-1 aircraft that failed to return from a night training mission over the island of Espiritu Santo, in what is known today as Vanuatu.
None of the seven crew members were recovered at that time, and in 1945 they were officially presumed deceased.
In 1994, a group of private citizens notified the U.S. that aircraft wreckage had been found on the island of Espiritu Santo. Human remains were recovered from the site at that time and turned over to the Department of Defense.
In 1999, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) survey team traveled to the location. The crash site was located at an elevation of 2,600 ft., in extremely rugged terrain, and the team determined that specialized mountain training would be necessary to safely complete a recovery mission.
From 2000 to 2011, multiple JPAC recovery teams excavated the site and recovered human remains, aircraft parts and military equipment.
To identify the remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) evaluated circumstantial evidence and mitochondrial DNA -- which matched that of the Marines' family members.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.