HomeNewsArticle Display

Misawa World War II Airman’s remains found

Graduation photo

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Hulen Leinweber, a 40th Fighter Squadron pilot, poses for a high school graduation photo. Leinweber was one of many to receive the Purple Heart and Air Medal after the Defense Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action Accounting Agency found their remains. The lieutenant and his fellow patriots were killed in action. (Courtesy photo from Leinweber Estate)

Manilla memorial

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Hulen Leinweber, a 40th Fighter Squadron pilot, has his name permamenantly inscribed on the “Walls of Missing” memorialization at the Manilla American Cemetery, Tagiug City, Philippines. The memorial in Manila is the largest American military cemetery on foreign soil. It contains the largest number of graves of military members who died during World War II. These 17,184 men and women lost their lives in operations across New Guinea and the Philippines. (Courtesy photo from Leinweber Estate)

Certificate for memorial

U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Hulen Leinweber, a 40th Fighter Squadron pilot, received a certificate for memorialization. Leinweber was one of many to receive the Purple Heart and Air Medal after the Defense Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action Accounting Agency found their remains. The lieutenant and his fellow patriots were killed in action. (Courtesy photo from Leinweber Estate)

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.