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Family Amazed After World War Two Soldier’s Remains Found In A Tree

Family Amazed After World War Two Soldier’s Remains Found In A Tree

The family of First Lieutenant William J Gray Jr never thought they'd see his body after learning his plane clipped a tree and crashed in Germany in 1945. They assumed, like many other families who lost loved ones in World War Two, that his remains would never be found again.

But in an incredible discovery, investigators have located Mr Gray's bones stuck in tree roots in Lindau, near the border with Lichtenstein. Seventy-two years after he died, his family in Seattle, Washington, has been given the remains and a proper burial.

Pilot's remains found
Pilot's remains found

Credit: Fox Q13

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The investigators made the find while carrying out a completely non-related operation, according to the Sun. When they found out it was the probably Mr Gray's crash site, they started to look for any sign of the pilot's remains. After sifting through the dirt for 15 days, they unearthed the bones.

Remains found in a tree
Remains found in a tree

Credit: Fox Q13

Thanks to advancements in DNA technology, the team was able to do some tests on the bones and matched them with William's surviving sisters.

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Once the family received the bones, they buried him next to his best friend First Lieutenant Jim Louvier, who did return from the war.

His daughter, Jan Bradshaw, told Q13: "They both enlisted together and went to war.

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Remains brought home
Remains brought home

Credit: Fox Q13

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"I wish my dad was here to see this, to see Bill come home."

Jan says her family struggled to decide where to bury Jim's ashes, but once they heard the news that William's remains had been found, they were able to place them side by side. It appears Mr Gray got a proper military funeral as well.

Mr Gray's nephew, Doug Louvier says: "They loved each other as brothers and friends.

William and Jim buried side by side
William and Jim buried side by side
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William and Jim buried side by side. Credit: Fox Q13

"I think they are having a cold drink up there smacking their glass together and saying we are finally back together."

What an awesome story, and it has allowed two families to find some closure on their loved ones.

Featured Image Credit: Fox Q13

Topics: Amazing, Discovery

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.