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Illinois fighter pilot laid to rest 75 years after death<

Portrait from Museum of Aviation / Contributed by Tripp Alyn

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) _ A southern Illinois native who flew planes in Southeast Asia more than 75 years ago has been buried alongside his parents in Carbondale.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports (http://bit.ly/2mRpHDe ) that three A-10 Warthog jets flew in formation Tuesday morning above Oakland Cemetery to pay tribute to Maax Curtis Hammer Jr. The fighter pilot was 25-years-old when his plane crashed in what is now Myanmar in 1941. His remains returned to Carbondale last week via dignified transport from Hawaii, where he was buried for 67 years in a grave marked “Unknown.”

Hammer’s family was officially notified of his DNA match to one of his living cousin’s sample on Jan. 4.

The ceremony was quiet and solemn, including a few meaningful people. There was a rifle salute and “Taps” was played.