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Remains of World War II pilot found 80 years later

An American pilot felt his plane shudder as it flew over an area near the coast of West Sussex, England. It was June 22, 1944. The beach glistened below, and before him lay a green meadow.

He and nine other crew members aboard the B-24 Liberator had just been hit by an explosive fired from German anti-aircraft artillery. The shell ripped through the plane’s metal, leaving the pilot, Lieutenant William B. Montgomery, in despair as he tried to make his way back to his home base in England from Paris.

The US Army pilot was 24 years old and was known in his hometown – Ford City, Pennsylvania – as a football player who still wore the gold ring of the fraternity he was part of at university. He seemed to know that the effort would be futile. According to historians, he kept the plane flying in West Sussex so his colleagues could parachute out. Seven of them did and survived.

Read more in Folha de S. Paulo

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