Remains Of WWII Pilot Identified As Pittsburgh Man

Lt. Herschel H Matte was on a reconnaissance mission when his plane went down in 1944

Andrew Limberg
September 19, 2019 - 3:13 pm

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA)/ U.S. Army


(Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - A missing WWII soldier from Pittsburgh has been accounted for.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced in a release Thursday that Army 1st Lt. Herschel H Matte’s remains have been accounted for.

Mattes was a pilot assigned to the 525th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 86th Fighter-Bomber Group in early 1944 in Italy.

The 22-year-old Mattes was on a reconnaissance mission in March 1944 when his Apache aircraft was hit with small arms or machine gun fire brining it down close to Lake Braccino in Italy.

His remains were not able to be recovered at the time due to the crash happening behind enemy lines

In 1947 the American Graves Registration Serves recovered the remains around the same area of the crash but they could not be identified at the time and were interred at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.

In 2015, a historian determined there was likely a connection between the remains and Mattes due to the proximity of where they remains were discovered.

The remains were sent to a DPAA laboratory where scientists used “anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.”

Mattes is one of the names memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery in Impruneta, Italy.

Mattes will be buried on September 23 in Connecticut.

Over 400,000 of the 16 million American that served in World War II died during the war.

The military says there are still 72,661 service members still unaccounted for.

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