Tuskegee Airman from Charlotte identified as unknown soldier 79 years after vanishing in WWII

CHARLOTTE — After 79 years of not knowing what happened to Second Lieutenant Fred L. Brewer, his family found peace when his remains were identified earlier in August, Channel 9′s partners at ABC 11 report.

Brewer went missing while piloting one of 57 fighter planes on a mission to Regensburg, Germany on Oct. 29, 1944. Forty-seven of the planes returned to base when they ran into heavy cloud cover in southern Italy. Brewer was not among them.

He had reportedly been attempting to climb over the clouds when he stalled and tailspinned down to Earth.

Remains were recovered after the war in a civilian cemetery in the area, but technology at the time was unable to identify the remains.

The Pentagon and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Brewer’s identity was confirmed on Aug. 10, 2023.

According to partners at the News & Observer, Brewer was a native of Charlotte who graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh in 1942. He enlisted in the Army and trained as a pilot at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Brewer’s family is asking that he be buried in his hometown of Charlotte, according to the Washington Post.

(WATCH: ‘Pride’: Gastonia to honor local Tuskegee Airman nearly 80 years after service)

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