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For nearly 70 years they lay in a foreign farmer's field, unknown and unidentified.
But today, four airmen from World War Two were finally buried in a military cemetery in northern Italy.
ITV News Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy, who attended the service, reports:
The crew of a Royal Air Force Boston Bomber which crashed 68 years ago while taking part in operations in the Po Valley in Italy has been laid to rest with military honours today at the Padua War Cemetery in Italy.
Relatives of the crew members travelled from Brecon and West Sussex and New South Wales in Australia to witness the burial service.
Sixty-eight years after they were shot down by enemy fire, a grave at last for the men of Bomber Command.
The four who flew together and died together will be buried together in the War Cemetery in Padua. A chance their families thought was lost after decades without news.
The bodies of Sergeant David Raikes, 20, Flight Sergeant Alexander Bostock, 20, Flight Sergeant David Millard, 20 and Warrant Officer John Hunt, 21, were recovered in July 2011 after a team of archaeologists discovered the wreckage of their Boston Bomber 5m below ground in the Po Valley, Italy.
They died in the last days of the war in Italy but no trace of their wreckage was ever found and their families were left to grieve without a body.
Those families will be at the service today, to honour their service and sacrifice.
Latest ITV News reports
The families of RAF pilots killed in April 1945 have finally been given some answers on happened them.