Seventy-three years passed since his final mission in World War II when Army Air Force pilot Robert Mains’ plane was shot down, along with his crew of nine other members. One member survived. Army Air Force 1st Lt. Robert Mains did not.
But Robert’s family of Rochester, New York, never stopped believing that Robert’s remains would one day be located and returned to his native land for proper burial.
Did you know there are a number of organizations that constantly work to locate missing and deceased warriors of world armed conflicts? That includes the Pentagon, which takes on the responsibility of informing families about the results of these on-going searches.
U.S. military officials announced in 2017 that Lt. Mains, 27, was one of those whose remains had been found. His plane, a B-24 Liberator that was part of a raid over Germany in April of 1945 during WWII, was shot out of the sky by enemy fighters. It crashed outside the town of Ludwigslust, Germany, killing nine of the 10-member crew.
Seventy-three years of hope and grief ended with closure for Lt. Mains’ family.
The poignancy of these recoveries was beautifully and emotionally portrayed by Betty White in her movie Lost Valentine. She plays a pregnant wife widowed by war at a young age. The script follows her journey in flashbacks and back to her present life when her husband’s remains are located 50 years after his war-time death on foreign soil.
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg
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