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An Air Force vet who completed numerous combat missions during WWII, and whose plane went down in Germany in April 1945, has finally been found after all of these years.

RELATED: Fifty years after his plane was shot down, a missing Marine has been given a hero’s burial

First Lt. William Gray’s bones were discovered at the crash site “embedded in [a] tree” in Lindau, and after all of these years, he has finally returned home to Washington, Q13 Fox reported.

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Little did Lt. Gray know that the flight that cost him his life would not be his last. Last Wednesday, he was flown home in a casket draped in the American flag and transferred to a hearse in a most solemn fashion by men in uniform.

KOMO/screenshot

His sister was there to see it. Her DNA helped confirm Lt. Gray’s identity.

KOMO/screenshot

Adding to the emotion of Lt. Gray’s return is the fact that his best friend First Lt. Jim Louvier has also found his final resting place. The two were best friends and enlisted together.

When Lt. Louvier came back from World War II, he married Lt. Gray’s sister. He never got to see his friend again.

But tips from locals in Germany who actually witnessed the crash, 15 days of excavation in the area and the incredible discovery confirmed by DNA matches have ensured that the two friends would be buried next to each other.

Lt. Louiver died in 2010 at the age of 89. Although he was cremated, his family members did not decide what to do with his ashes. They’re saying they now know why they couldn’t make that decision.

RELATED: A photo of a veteran without a coffin has sparked outrage — his son’s explanation makes it look even worse

The American heroes have been given a military burial and have found rest at Tahoma National Cemetery.

The family believes the two “are having a cold drink up there, smacking their glasses together and saying, ‘We are finally back together.'”

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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