NEWTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The remains of a World War II Massachusetts soldier were identified as late 27-year-old 1st Lt. Alfred W. Pezzella from Newton.

Pezzella was a bombardier serving aboard a B-24 Liberator bomber when it crashed on August 1, 1943, after being hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire. Operation TIDAL WAVE was the largest bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, north of Bucharest, Romania. 

Following the war, more than 80 Americans who could not be identified were brought to Ardennes American Cemetery and Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, both in Belgium.

In 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency began exhuming the bodies to identify them through the use of anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Pezzella was identified in April 2023. His remains will return on October 24th to Massachusetts to be buried at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

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