Misawa World War II Airman’s remains found
By Airman 1st Class Xiomara M. Martinez , 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 20, 2018
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Defense Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Accounting Agency found the remains of U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Hulen Leinweber, a former Misawa Air Base 40th Fighter Squadron pilot, June 20, 2018.
Leinweber went on to receive the Purple Heart and Air Medal for his actions in battle. The Airman lost his life after being killed in action.
On June 10, 1945, Leinweber piloted a P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft on a strafing mission targeting a large convoy north of Payawan in Infugao Province, Republic of Philippines. Anti-aircraft battery fired on the aircraft and reportedly struck the jet, causing the wing to break off. Leinweber’s aircraft crashed just south of Llap Village.
The Purple Heart is a medal members of the U.S. Armed Forces receive after becoming wounded, killed in a battle, through an act of terrorism or death in captivity as a prisoner of war.
Although this Airman passed away during the crash, his memory isn’t forgotten.
The Air Medal, established by Executive Order on May 11, 1942 and amended by Executive Order on Sept. 11, 1942, recognizes personnel who, while serving with the Armed Forces, distinguished themselves by aerial achievement while participating in flight.
“I feel very proud and gratified historians were able to contribute to the effort to account for this missing Airman and return him to his family after 73 years,” said James Burett, the 35th Fighter Wing historian.
The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and the nation.
The DPAA teams operate with military personnel traveling to various conflict regions throughout the world to locate and identify missing service members in order to bring them home and provide them a proper burial.