U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. William J. McGowan went missing in action on June 6, 1944, just inland of the coast of Normandy. The crash site of his P-47 was in a tiny French village, Moon-sur-Elle, but his remains were considered unrecoverable.
Seventy-two years later in 2018, with assistance from a team from St. Mary’s University Forensic Aviation Archaeological Field School, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency was finally able to positively identify remains from the site at Moon-sur-Elle and account for McGowan.
On July 9, 2022, McGowan was laid to rest with full military honors at the Normandy American Cemetery in the presence of family. McGowan was a pilot assigned to the 391st Fighter Squadron, 366th Fighter Group, which is now the 366th Fighter Wing located at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.