Hattiesburg WWII war hero will return home after 80 years

Therese Apel

Theodore F. Scarborough

Another missing war hero will finally make it home thanks to modern technology.

On September 7, 2022, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identified the remains of 2LT Theodore Frank Scarborough, missing from World War II.

Scarborough will be coming home to Mississippi in the coming days and will be escorted to Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg.

Scarborough entered the U.S. Army Air Forces from Mississippi and served in the 345th Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group. On August 1, 1943, Operation TIDAL WAVE, a bombing raid against the oil refineries around Ploiești, Romania, was launched. One hundred and seventy-seven B-24 Liberators took off from airfields in Libya, for the raid. Scarborough was the bombardier on one Liberator (serial number 42-40991) that was one of fifty-one planes that failed to return. His remains were not identified following the war. Operation TIDAL WAVE, while successfully damaging the Ploiești oil refineries, cost the lives of hundreds of USAAF airmen, many of whom were interred by Romanian citizens into the Bolovan Cemetery in Ploiești.

During postwar operations there, the American Graves Registration Command exhumed unknown remains that were eventually reinterred at Ardennes American Cemetery and Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. In 2017, DPAA began exhuming those unknowns for comparison with the unaccounted-for airmen lost during Operation TIDAL WAVE. The laboratory analysis and the totality of the circumstantial evidence available established an association between one set of these unknown remains and 2LT Scarborough.

Second Lieutenant Scarborough is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery in Tunis, Tunisia.

The anticipated arrival at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport is Friday, April 14, at approximately 6:10PM. After plane side honors, The Patriot Guard Riders of Mississippi, along with law enforcement, will escort 2LT Scarborough out of town to honor him and his family. It is requested that the public line the roads, where safe, from the airport to Highway 49 South to show their support for this American hero.

In the next few weeks TBD, 2LT Scarborough will be laid to rest with full military honors.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website or find them on Facebook.

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