Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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April 10, 2014

Flags ordered at half-staff on Friday

Des Moines —

Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in Iowa from 5 p.m. Friday, April 11, 2014, until 8 a.m. Monday, April 14, 2014, in honor of U.S. Army Air Corps 1st Lt. Louis L. Longman, formerly of Clinton, Iowa.
 
Longman, a 26-year old Clinton, Iowa native serving with the 433rd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, 5th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Corps, was last seen April 16, 1944 as his unit returned from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea. A Lockheed P-38 “Lightning” fighter pilot, Longman was on the return leg of the mission in a P-38J aircraft when his unit encountered severe weather in the Markham Valley. Longman’s last reported location was in the vicinity of Bogadjim, New Guinea, as his formation broke up. The 5th Air Force lost 53 pilots and crewmen that day in what became known as “Black Sunday.”
 
Longman was officially declared deceased on Feb. 27, 1946, but his remains were never recovered. In February 2005, the Joint Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command - Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC) received information of a possible aircraft crash site in Madang province, Papua New Guinea. In August 2007, human remains, as well as parts of a U.S. P-38J aircraft were recovered by a JPAC Investigation Team. Additional remains and physical evidence were also recovered in 2009 and 2010 by JPAC personnel.
 
In 2011, JPAC’s Research and Analysis Group concluded a historical association drawn from Missing Air Crew Report #4501 and the excavation site. The location of the excavated aircraft crash site and the wreckage reported by JPAC personnel, consistent with a Lockheed P-38J Lightning, support this historical association.
 
Louis Longman was born Jan. 23, 1918 in Murdock, Minn. to George F. and Ellen T. (Cleary) Longman. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Clinton, Iowa in 1936, and participated in a wide variety of school activities, including basketball, football (All-State honorable mention), yearbook sports editor, dramatics, and class officer positions.

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