His identity was made public this week
Burial pending for 1942 aviator
Funeral arrangements are pending for a World War II aviation cadet Leo Mustonen, who died 64 years ago during a training flight when his aircraft crashed into a California glacier.
His remains were recovered in October 2005 and were identified by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command's Central Identification Laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base using mitochondrial DNA and circumstantial evidence.
However, his identity was officially released only this week, although Mustonen's oldest niece, Ona Lea Mustonen, was told by the military last month that the remains were her uncle's. The military said the Mustonen family will be formally briefed tomorrow in Jacksonville, Fla. The Mustonen family and Army officials will conduct a news conference following the briefing.
Mustonen, 22, was one of four soldiers on board an AT-7 Navigator aircraft that crashed into the Darwin Glacier in the Sierra Nevada mountain range during a training accident in November 1942.
The site was found by hikers crossing the glacier in 1947; however, the human remains recovered at that time could not be conclusively matched to specific individuals. They were buried as a group with full military honors in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, Calif., in 1948.
In October 2005, hikers again came across the site and found additional human remains on the Mendel Glacier, which is adjacent to Darwin Glacier and was formerly known as Little Darwin Glacier.