WWII pilot laid to rest

An American pilot's body, which has been buried in Lincolnshire fields for almost 70 years, has finally been laid to rest.

Members of the Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group accidentally came across the remains of Second Lt Charles Moritz, who was killed in a mid-air crash, while digging in fields near Market Rasen.

It was on June 7 1944 when Lt Moritz and one other American took to the skies above Lincolnshire for a training flight in a Mustang. It was cloudy and their planes collided. One pilot bailed out and survived. The other didn't. Lt Moritz was just 20 and had been in the UK for six weeks.

But it took careful detective work to identify the body before his body could be returned to the United States where it was buried yesterday with full military honours.

Last weekend his coffin was transferred from Missouri to his former home town of Effingham in Illinois in a procession of bikers.

"It's very satisfying when you do find, in the circumstances like this when the Americans actually actively go and look for their missing, for us to go and find one and to be patted on the back from the Americans is just, it's something else, it's out of this world really."

– John Marshall-East, Lincolnshire Aircraft Recovery Group