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WWII vet from Floral Park missing 66 years laid to rest

Dr. Virginia Doolittle, cousin of Lt. Joseph J.

Dr. Virginia Doolittle, cousin of Lt. Joseph J. Auld, receives the flag from his coffin from Chaplain John Gabriel during Auld's burial service at Arlington National Cemetery. (July 15, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Sixty-six years after his plane was reported missing in Burma during World War II, Joseph J. Auld came home Thursday, with family members attending his burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

"We always had hopes that Joe would find his way out of the jungle, and we always kept those hopes and prayers alive," said cousin Helen McGowan, 88, of Stony Brook, one of Auld's few surviving relatives who knew him.

Auld, of Floral Park, was a 25-year-old lieutenant at the time of the crash in 1944. A missionary in Myanmar found the crash site almost 60 years after the plane went down.

The Department of Defense used DNA and dental records to identify Auld's remains and those of another crewman last year.

Auld was among seven Army Air Corps members on that flight who were buried Thursday. The ceremony included a military flyover and rifle salutes.

"It's a very good thing that we have him and we know where he is," McGowan said.

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