WWII veteran’s remains identified, to be buried in Minneapolis

The remains of a St. Paul native who was killed while serving in WWII will be interred next month at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Donald R. Duchene served in the 344th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 98th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force, and was the tail gunner of a B-24 Liberator aircraft on Aug. 1, 1943, when it crashed after being hit by enemy fire during Operation TIDAL WAVE north of Bucharest.

After the war, his remains weren’t identified and all unidentified remains were buried in a hero section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery in Romania. In 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency started exhuming unknowns that were believed to be associated with unaccounted-for airmen from Operation TIDAL WAVE.

Duchene was accounted for on July 8, the Army says.

His remains will now be brought to Fort Snelling National Cemetery for interment on Oct. 5.

The Army says Duchene’s name is also on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery in Italy and will have a rosette placed next to his name to indicate he’s been accounted for.

He was 19 at the time of his death.