2nd Lt. Eugene Shauvin, left, is pictured with his family before heading to Europe to fight in World War II, where he was killed in action during Operation Market Garden. (@thecolumbian / Twitter screen shot)
By Richard Moorhead March 28, 2022 at 4:25pm
An American patriot who was killed in World War II is coming home after 78 years.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency revealed that the remains of 2nd Lt. Eugene P. Shauvin were identified earlier this month.
Shauvin, a native of Spokane, Washington, was killed during combat operations in Belgium in September 1944.
Shauvin was the pilot of a C-47 Skytrain aircraft transporting U.S. Army paratroopers for Operation Market Garden, a failed plan to open up a second front against Nazi Germany in northwestern Europe following the invasion of France that summer.
2nd Lt. Eugene P. Shauvin, a #Camas mill worker, was killed in Operation Market Garden. His remains were officially accounted for March 2 after a series of excavations and anthropological analyses. Now his daughter is bringing him home to #Washington https://t.co/f0JdKlRVl8
— The Columbian (@thecolumbian) March 24, 2022
Shauvin’s aircraft was shot down near the Belgian village of Kortijnen on Sept. 17, 1944.
Six paratroopers bailed out, but the plane’s crew and five more paratroopers were killed in the plane crash.
Locals buried eight bodies found at the crash site in a mass grave days later.
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After the conclusion of the war in Europe, the Army recovered 22 bodies from the grave in question, analyzing and identifying every casualty from the plane except for the 25-year-old Shauvin.
More than a half-century later, Shauvin’s daughter, Linda Shauvin, petitioned the DPAA to continue the search for her father, citing new local evidence.
A 2002 search would locate the plane’s cockpit, but further excavation was ruled out when no remains were recovered.
Linda Shauvin petitioned the agency to search yet again in 2016, with the agency reconsidering its decision to halt excavation after a new analysis of reports from the scene.
After negotiations with Belgian authorities to authorize a new excavation, a new dig was delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in 2019.
It wasn’t until April and May 2021 that a new excavation began in Belgium, with a DPAA team recovering human remains, as well as possible life support equipment.
DNA analysis confirmed that the remains in question were those of Shauvin.
Linda Shauvin was only three years old when her father met an untimely death.
Shauvin, who lives in Virginia, has thanked locals in the area and Belgian researchers for assisting in the operation to recover her father’s remains, according to WVIR.
The Washington native will be buried in July in his hometown.
The DPAA works to recover and identify the remains of American service members unaccounted for overseas, with research operations seeking Americans killed in conflicts such as the Vietnam War ongoing.