While funerals are never a pleasant occasion, they can be more than just heartbroken gatherings. For some families, having a family member laid to rest gives them peace and a sense of closure.
That’s certainly true for the family of Army Air Forces 2nd Lieutenant Lynn W. Hadfield, who disappeared on March 21, 1945, during WWII when his plane was hit by the Germans.
Since then, his family has carried on and expanded, but they never stopped wondering what had happened to Hadfield.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, three years ago, in 2016, a German researcher notified the DPAA that he’d found a crash that could be Hadfield’s.
The search led them to a horse paddock, about 10 miles from Dulmen, Germany. During the last several months of 2016, the site was assessed, the plane excavated, and the remains DNA-tested.
The tests confirmed that the remains were Hadfield’s, and researchers were also able to identify his deceased crew members as well.
Hadfield’s family was thankful that he’d been found at last, and his funeral was planned for March 21, 2019, which was 74 years to the day since his plane was shot down.
“My Grandfather, Lynn W. Hadfield: WWII Pilot – killed on March 21st, 1945 finally being put to rest *74 years to the day* later,” CT Turner, Hadfield’s grandson, posted on March 19.
“I am honored, proud and amazed that after a lifetime of searching we finally have the privilege of bringing our Grandfather and Father home this week.”
“My family and I are deeply grateful to *everyone* who made this possible, and to my Son-in-Law, SSGT Sean Scheller, who is escorting Lynn’s remains home today.”
“Our only wish was to bring him home in time for his daughter, my mother, to say goodbye to her father…that is happening.”
Even though Turner’s mother and Hadfield’s daughter, Mary Ann Turner, had been only 2 when her father died, she’s found it comforting to be able to close the door on this chapter.
“An emptiness is filled,” she told The Salt Lake Tribune, “and I have a lot of peace that I’ve never known before. It’s wonderful.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.