Remains of missing WWII soldier from LI returned to family 75 years later

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A missing World War II soldier has been identified and returned to his family in Nassau County after 75 years.

Second Lt. John F. McTigue was a pilot who went missing during a mission in 1944.

His 92-year-old brother, Thomas McTigue, of Wantagh, still has the telegram their mother was sent on Sept. 5, 1944 -- not long after Thomas McTigue joined the Navy.

"I was 17," said Thomas McTigue. "Nine days after I was 17 I was in boot camp. Two months later, I got notified my brother was shot down, killed."

Thomas McTigue says his brother, who was the co-pilot of the B-17, had been listed as missing in action and his unidentified remains buried in France.

Seventy-five years after his mother received the telegram about his brother, the retired NYPD detective got a letter from a woman in North Carolina who he says works to identify missing airmen from World War II.

"It's bittersweet," said Thomas McTigue. "Sept. 5 I was notified that my brother's remains had been identified by my DNA, my nephew's DNA and my niece, so it's a positive ID."

John McTigue's remains were returned to New York with a military honor guard. The family held a wake Sunday and he will be buried Monday.

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