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Second Lieutenant Donald Eugene Underwood

Name2d Lt Donald Eugene Underwood
Unit:38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group, 7th Air Force
Location of Recovery:Betio, Tarawa, Gilbert Islands (Modern Day Kiribati) Cemetery 33
Date of Loss:January 21, 1944

Circumstances:  On 7 September 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified the remains of Second Lieutenant Donald Eugene Underwood, missing from World War II.

Second Lieutenant Underwood entered the U.S. Army Air Forces from Michigan and served with the 38th Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bombardment Group (Heavy). On January 21, 1944, he was the bombardier aboard a B-24 Liberator (serial number 42-72982) when it took off with nine crew members and one passenger from Helen Island, Tarawa Atoll, on a combat mission to Roi, Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed offshore. 2LT Underwood died in the crash and was buried in Cemetery No. 33 on Betio Island, but could not be associated with any of the remains disinterred there following the war.  In 2017, the non-profit organization History Flight Inc. located casket burials Cemetery 33 on Betio and recovered human remains there. Lt. Underwood was among the remains recovered. In 2017, DPAA analysts used modern forensic techniques and identified 2LT Underwood’s remains from remains initially recovered from Betio.

Second Lieutenant Underwood is memorialized in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Findagrave Memorial ABMC Tablets of the Missing, Honolulu

Findagrave Memorial Final Burial Arlington National Cemetery

DPAA Press Release

DPAA Personnel Profile