Two World War II Veterans Honor 19 Soldiers Who Disappeared 70 Years Ago

EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — On Monday morning, two World War II veterans held bouquets of roses and boarded an old warplane at Republic Airport here. Both men — Frank Kittle, 90, and Jack McMullen, 91 — narrowly escaped death while serving on such planes over Europe during the war.

And now, 70 years later, they were being pulled back into service, aboard this military transport plane built in the 1940s. Their mission this time was to honor 19 soldiers who most likely crashed into the Atlantic off the coast of eastern Long Island 70 years ago in two B-24 bombers running training missions before going overseas.

Neither plane was ever found; nor were the crews. Their stories were largely forgotten — at least until last May, when a clue to their disappearance emerged from the ocean.

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