The remains of U.S. Army Air Forces Capt. Franklin B. Tostevin of Westfield
who was shot down during World War II have been identified and will be returned
to his family for burial with full military honors, the Department of Defense
POW/Missing Personnel Office announced on Monday.
Capt. Tostevin was the pilot of an F-6P aircraft that was shot down while on a reconnaissance mission in Cologne, Germany on March 20, 1945. Tostevin was 22 at the time.
In 1949, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service determined that Tostevin had been buried in the cemetery of a nearby town after interviewing local villagers. However, his remains were not returned to the U.S. at the time.
In May of 2006, a German citizen led members of a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command investigative team to a World War II crash site near the town of Eigen, DPMP officials said. The team located human remains and aircraft wreckage that they were able to correlate to Tostevin’s aircraft.
In August 2008, a recovery team from JPAC excavated the site
of the crash and was able to recover additional human remains and personal
effects, according to the DPMO.
Scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory were able to match DNA to Tostevin’s cousin and identify the remains as belonging to Tostevin.
"The fact that he has been brought home and will be laid to rest among his comrades at Fort Logan is a wonderful thing," his nephew, Daniel Tostevin told the Associated Press. "Uncle Franklin was truly a courageous man. He did his duty."
Tostevin will be buried with full military honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver on Friday.