Chicago WWII soldier's remains identified decades later

The remains of a WWII airman from Chicago were identified this spring, bringing closure to a family. 

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Thursday that Army Air Forces Sgt. Willard S. Kendall, 23, was killed in 1944 during an air raid in Germany, and he was accounted for on April 13, 2023.

Kendall was on assigned to the 32d Bombardment Squadron, 301st Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force. He was a tail gunner on the B-17G flying fortress on Feb. 25, 1944 – the day he died. 

The aircraft was struck during a bombing raid and eight of the nine crew members bailed before it crashed. Several crew members saw that Kendall had died at his post before they bailed. 


Kendall's family was just recently notified. He will be buried in Forest Park at a later date.