AP

Pentagon IDs remains of Tuskegee Airman killed in WWII

Nov 30, 2018, 8:05 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The remains of a New York pilot killed during World War II are the first of the 27 Tuskegee Airmen listed as missing in action to be identified, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the agency charged with recovering and identifying the nation’s war dead, said the remains accounted for earlier this year are those of Lawrence Dickson of Manhattan. Dickson was killed in a crash in Europe 74 years ago next month.

Dickson was a 24-year-old captain in the 100th Fighter Squadron when he took off in his P-51 Mustang fighter plane from a base in Italy to conduct an aerial reconnaissance mission on Dec. 23, 1944. During the return flight, Dickson’s engine failed and his plane was seen crashing along the Italy-Austria border, the Pentagon said.

Searches for the crash site were unsuccessful, and in 1949, the U.S. military declared his remains non-recoverable.

In 2012, an American recovery team found the crash site in Austria after receiving information from an Austrian researcher. The team found wreckage matching Dickson’s type of fighter.

Excavations conducted over four weeks in the summer of 2017 by the University of New Orleans and Austria’s University of Innsbruck resulted in the recovery of human remains.

The skeletal remains were later identified as Dickson’s through DNA samples provided by his daughter, Marla Andrews, of East Orange, New Jersey, and another relative.

“I was spaced out,” Andrews said Thursday as she recalled her feelings last year when the Pentagon told her progress had been made in her father’s MIA case. Last summer, the Pentagon gave Andrews and her relatives an official confirmation.

“A lot of things have to come together for something like this to work,” Andrews told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from her home.
Andrews was 2 years old when her mother received notification that her husband was missing in action. She was born in a hospital in Harlem, where Phyllis and Lawrence Dickson were living when he enlisted in the Army.

A South Carolina native who loved music and played the electric guitar, Lawrence Dickson was sent to Tuskegee, Alabama, for training in a newly formed African-American air squadron. The storied Tuskegee Airmen would shatter aviation and racial barriers during World War II.

Qualifying as a pilot, Dickson flew with the 332nd Fighter Group’s 100th Fighter Squadron, known as the “Red Tails” for the color of their aircrafts’ tails.
Sixty-six Tuskegee Airmen died in combat, including 27 who were listed as MIA when the war ended.

Dickson was the first of those 27 to be identified, a DPAA spokesman said.

Among the items recovered from the crash scene was part of a harmonica Dickson carried with him during flights.

“Little things like that have been quite comforting,” Andrews said.

Phyllis Dickson died last December at 96 in Nevada, her daughter said.

Lawrence Dickson will be buried March 22 with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

The U.S. Coast Guard ship Bernard C. Webber, leaves the coast guard base, Monday, July 19, 2021, in...
Associated Press

‘Miracle’: Missing cruise ship passenger found OK in water

The U.S. Coast Guard says a passenger who went overboard from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued on Thanksgiving after likely being in the water for hours.
19 hours ago
FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
2 days ago
Debbie, left, and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart ...
The Associated Press

Walmart shooter left ‘death note,’ bought gun day of killing

According to authorities in Virginia, the Walmart shooter bought his gun just hours prior to killing six employees.
2 days ago
Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
4 days ago
Hand-written messages cover the heart attached to the cross to honor a victim of the mass shooting ...
COLLEEN SLEVIN, THOMAS PEIPERT, JESSE BEDAYN and BRITTANY PETERSON

Colorado gay club shooting suspect held without bail

The alleged shooter facing possible hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub was ordered held without bail in an initial court appearance Wednesday.
4 days ago
Four Dead University of Idaho...
NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS Associated Press

Coroner: Idaho students were stabbed to death in their beds

Four University of Idaho students who were found dead in a rental house Sunday were stabbed to death in their beds and likely were asleep.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Pentagon IDs remains of Tuskegee Airman killed in WWII