77 years after he was shot down over Germany, remains of WWII pilot return to his LA hometown

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  • Three generations of 1st Lt. Ernest Roth, a aviator from Van Nuys who was killed implicit Germany successful World War II, sojourn with his casket astatine Pierce Brothers Westwood Village connected Wednesday, August 25, 2021 aft his remains were precocious recovered. He volition beryllium buried astatine Los Angeles National Cemetery connected Friday volition afloat subject honors. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • A Patriot Guard Rider passes the casket of 1st Lt. Ernest Roth, a aviator from Van Nuys who was killed implicit Germany successful World War II, astatine Pierce Brothers Westwood Village connected Wednesday, August 25, 2021 aft his remains were precocious recovered. He volition beryllium buried astatine Los Angeles National Cemetery connected Friday volition afloat subject honors. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles City Firefighters salute the casket of 1st Lt. Ernest Roth, a aviator from Van Nuys who was killed implicit Germany successful World War II, arsenic helium arrives astatine Pierce Brothers Westwood Village connected Wednesday, August 25, 2021 aft his remains were precocious recovered. He volition beryllium buried astatine Los Angeles National Cemetery connected Friday volition afloat subject honors. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • First Lt. Ernest Roth, a aviator from Van Nuys who was killed implicit Germany successful World War II, casket arrives astatine Pierce Brothers Westwood Village with the Patriot Guard Riders connected Wednesday, August 25, 2021 aft his remains were precocious recovered. He volition beryllium buried astatine Los Angeles National Cemetery connected Friday volition afloat subject honors. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • First cousins and sisters Leontine Rose and Roberta Finkle ticker the casket of their relative 1st Lt. Ernest Roth, a aviator from Van Nuys who was killed implicit Germany successful World War II, get astatine Pierce Brothers Westwood Village connected Wednesday, August 25, 2021 aft his remains were precocious recovered. He volition beryllium buried astatine Los Angeles National Cemetery connected Friday volition afloat subject honors. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • First Lt. Ernest Roth, a aviator from Van Nuys who was killed implicit Germany successful World War II, is carried by the Patriot Guard Riders into Pierce Brothers Westwood Village connected Wednesday, August 25, 2021 aft his remains were precocious recovered. He volition beryllium buried astatine Los Angeles National Cemetery connected Friday volition afloat subject honors. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The remains of a World War II aviator and autochthonal Angeleno returned to his hometown connected Wednesday evening, Aug. 25, 77 years aft his level was changeable down implicit a German battlefield.

The long-searched-for remains of U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ernest L. Roth arrived astatine Los Angeles International Airport connected Wednesday evening, according to Laura Herzog, laminitis and enforcement manager of Honoring Our Fallen.

U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ernest L. Roth

A procession carrying Roth’s remains traveled southbound connected Sepulveda Boulevard from LAX, eastbound connected the Century (105) Freeway, northbound connected the San Diego (405) Freeway, eastbound connected Wilshire Boulevard and southbound connected Glendon Avenue, yet arriving astatine Pierce Brothers Mortuary successful Westwood Village.

The Honoring Our Fallen group, which helped coordinate the return, asked the nationalist to assistance amusement gratitude by lining the way with flags to grant Roth.

At the mortuary, L.A. City firefighters welcomed the procession with a enactment of salutes.

Two of Roth’s cousins — sisters Leontine Rose and Roberta Finkle — attended the procession with 10 relatives, representing 3 generations of the family.

Roth’s remains were taken to a country successful the mortuary wherever household members held a small, backstage gathering, officials said.

A backstage ceremonial for Roth is planned Friday successful his hometown of L.A., astatine Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Roth was killed successful portion piloting a bomber level implicit Berlin, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, a national bureau that recovers subject unit who were either prisoners of warfare oregon missing successful action.

He was 20 years old.

According to the DPPA, Roth was a aviator with the 359th Bombardment Squadron, 303rd Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force successful Europe. His level went down successful Berlin connected May 19, 1944 during a bombing run.

Roth’s bomber, carrying a unit of 10 people, was deed by antiaircraft occurrence and crashed. Six of the 10 unit members were killed, including Roth.

The remainder of the members of the unit were captured and became prisoners of war, officials said.

Roth’s assemblage was reportedly buried by German forces successful a cemetery named Döberitz, the DPPA study explained, but his assemblage could not beryllium found.

One Germany became accessible aft the war, the American Graves Registration Command, a work that works to retrieve missing American soldiers, recovered respective remains of American soldiers successful that cemetery, but recovered 1 assemblage it called “X-4801 Neuville” due to the fact that it could not beryllium positively identified, the DPPA study explained.

In June 2018, the Department of Defense and the American Battle Monuments Commission exhumed X-4801 Neuville and transferred the remains to the DPAA Laboratory astatine Offutt Air Force Base successful Nebraska.

Scientists from the DPPA utilized “anthropological analysis” and “circumstantial evidence,” portion scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner strategy utilized mitochondrial DNA investigation to astatine past place X-4801 Neuville arsenic Ernest Roth.

Thus, Roth’s remains were officially accounted for connected Feb. 4, 2020.

SCNG Photographer Sarah Reingewirtz and City News Service contributed to this report.

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