Remains Of Medford WWII Vet Coming Home

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Staff Sgt. Roy Surabian

Staff Sgt. Roy Surabian serving during WWII. (Credit: Surabian Family)

WBZ-TV's Christina Hager Christina Hager
Award-winning reporter Christina Hager works as a general assignmen...
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MEDFORD (CBS) – Staff Sgt. Roy Surabian, a Medford man missing since serving in the Air Force during World War II, is returning home.

The Surabian family knew their son was a radio operator with the 64th Bombardment Squadron, 43rd Bombardment Group, Fifth Air Force. Surabian was on a sea search mission in late November, 1943 off the coast of New Guinea, when the B-24 plane he was aboard was never heard from again.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports from Medford.

Surabian was memorialized, and awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart, but the whereabouts of his remains, and his 10 crewmembers, were unknown.

Charles Surabian looks at a photo of his older brother, Staff Sgt. Roy Surabian

Charles Surabian looks at a photo of his older brother, Staff Sgt. Roy Surabian (Credit: Rick Macomber/WBZ)

Until recently.

In 2004, after multiple search attempts by the military over the years, local villagers turned over human remains they had previously removed from the area.

Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA to help identify the remains of the airmen.

The 11 Air Force crew members are expected to be buried on March 24 at Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to Sgt. Surabian, the body of a man from Woburn, Staff Sgt. James B. Moore, aged 21 at the time the plane went missing, was recovered and will be buried.

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