2 South Carolina men killed in World War II accounted for
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced two men from the Upstate of South Carolina, both killed during World War II, have been accounted for.
U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. George B. Walker, 25, of Spartanburg was accounted for in June and U.S. Navy Fire Controlman 1st Class Hubert P. Clement, 30, of Inman, was accounted for in October of 2021, according to DPAA. The families of both men only recent received their full briefing of the men’s identification.
U.S. Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. George B. Walker
In the winter of 1944, Staff Sgt. Walker was assigned to the 369th Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 8th Air Force, said DPAA. In Feb. of 1944, he was an aerial engineer and top turret gunner aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-31056) that crashed near Wittmund, Germany during a bombing mission.
The DPAA said SSG Walker survived the crash but was taken as a prisoner of war by German forces and interned at Stalag Luft VI prison camp. On April 28, 1944, SSG Walker was shot and killed while attempting to escape the prison complex, his remains were buried near the camp.
In 2021, the DPAA said a set of remains were recovered from the vicinity of Stalag Luft VI and identified as those of SSG Walker.
SSG Walker is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten and he will be buried in his hometown of Spartanburg.
U.S. Navy Fire Controlman 1st Class Hubert P. Clement
The DPAA said Fire Controlman Clement entered the U.S. Navy from South Carolina. He was serving aboard the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941 and was killed in the incident.
Clement’s remains were recovered following the attack, however, they could not be identified at the time and he was buried as an “unknown” at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP) in Honolulu, Hawaii, according to the DPAA.
In 2015, the DPAA said advances in forensic technology prompted the DPAA to reexamine unknown remains from the Oklahoma buried in the NMCP. FM1 Clement’s remains were disinterred and eventually identified as part of this effort.
Fire Controlman Clement is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and he will be buried on Oct. 10, 2022 at the American Battle Monument Commission’s Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl.
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