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WWII Airman’s Remains Are Coming Home

POSTED: May 15, 2008

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COLERAIN — Sarah Zeyer felt “happy and sad at the same time” watching her brother’s casket arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport.

“We’re glad he’s back with us,” she said of U.S. Army Air Forces aviation Cadet Ernest “Glenn” Munn — her older brother, who died 65 years ago during a World War II training flight in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

His remains were found atop a glacier last year. They were flown into the airport on the way to burial in his native Belmont County, Ohio. The Department of Defense in March identified the remains as those of Munn, who was raised in the St. Clairsville area. Munn was 23 years old when his navigational trainer plane disappeared after takeoff from Sacramento, Calif., in November 1942.

Backpackers in a remote area of Kings Canyon, east of Fresno, told rangers in August they discovered a decomposed body near an unopened military parachute.

Munn is the second of four airmen aboard the missing plane to be identified.

“There are still two more to find,” said Zeyer, 86, who still lives in Belmont County. “And they were all only sons.”

Zeyer said she and other family members received a police escort to the airport Wednesday to finally welcome her brother back home. She noted that after they were permitted to spend about 30 minutes together with his casket, his remains were taken to Wilson Funeral Home in Bridgeport. Visitors will be received there from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. today and Friday, with funeral services set for 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Colerain.

“He will be buried at Holly Memorial Gardens in Pleasant Grove, which is close to Jean and I,” Zeyer added.

Jean Pyle, 87, of Pleasant Grove also is a sister of Munn. A third sister, Lois Shriver, 83, resides in Pittsburgh. Zeyer said all three siblings, as well as many of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will attend the funeral. Family members are traveling from across the Buckeye State, and from as far away as Colorado.
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