- Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - A World War II airman whose remains were found more than 60 years after he was shot down over Germany is set to be buried in Oakland.

William “Billy” Parker Cook will be laid to rest with full military honors near other family members at Mountain View Cemetery on Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported (https://bit.ly/1rXsLYi).

Cook and a five-man crew were on a mission to take out a critical rail bridge in Germany when their plane came under fire and went down in December 1944, according to the Department of Defense.

Aviation researchers found the crash site near Allmuthen, Belgium in 2006. A dig in 2012 and 2013 led to the discovery of bone fragments and clothing belonging to Cook.

“This is something that came out of the blue,” said Bruce Cook, 62, of Newport Beach, Billy Cook’s nephew and closest living relative. “It’s something I hadn’t thought about in years. I’m just glad I’m still around to arrange the final resting place.”

Billy Cook lived in Alameda after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley and getting married. He enlisted in the Army Air Forces and rose to the rank of 1st lieutenant, flying missions in a twin-engine B-26G Marauder called “Hunsucker,” according to the Chronicle.

He was 27 when his plane was shot down.

Bruce Cook said he visited his uncle’s home in Alameda in the early 2000s and met with Billy Cook’s widow, Jean Swanson, who has since died.

“This man perished before I was born,” said Bruce Cook, whose middle names, William Parker, come from his uncle. “But I’m named after him, and I spent my childhood hearing about him. He’s certainly close in my psyche.”


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, https://www.sfgate.com

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