Fallen WWII Navy pilot Ensign Robert Tills was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery this past week following the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s (JPAC) 2008 identification of his remains and material evidence more than 66 years after his death.
The Herald Times Reporter of Manitowoc, Wisc., reported on the service, which included full military honors and a missing man formation flyover by Navy F-18s.
Tills died on Dec. 8, 1941 in the Philippines when his PBY-4 Catalina Flying Boat aircraft was strafed with machine gun fire from a Japanese fighter plane. His remains were found by local divers and fishermen in Malalag Bay in eastern Mindanao in late 2007 and early 2008, and subsequently retrieved by JPAC from the Philippine Government for identification.
In addition to maintaining detachments in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, JPAC teams routinely deploy throughout the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility, and beyond, partnering with local and national agencies with the mission of achieving the fullest possible accounting of all Americans missing as a result of the nation's past conflicts.