The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Paul Cybowski, 25, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 8, 2019.
(This identification was initially published July 10, 2019.)
In September 1943, Cybowski was a member of the 373rd Bombardment Squadron, 308th Bombardment Group, based in Yangkai, China. On Sept. 15, 1943, Cybowski was a gunner aboard a B-24D aircraft, on a bombing mission over Haiphong, French Indochina (present-day Vietnam.) Approximately 50 Japanese fighters attacked the formation as it turned to make a run over the target, shooting down three of the five American aircraft. Five crewmembers were able to bail prior to the crash, but Cybowski, and four other crewmembers, were killed during the attack.
On Oct. 12, 1945, the American Graves Registration Service recovered five sets of remains from a European cemetery in Hai Duong, French Indochina. The five sets included two known U.S. casualties and three Unknowns, designated X-16, X-17 and X-18. The Unknowns were redesignated X-42, X-43 and X-44 Kunming, and were subsequently buried in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Kunming, China.
By April 1947, all U.S. Unknowns buried in China were disinterred and sent to the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu. In 1949, remains that could not be identified were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP,) known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including Unknown X-43.
Based upon the original recovery location of X-43, a DPAA historian determined that there was good potential to identify this Unknown. On April 15, 2019, Unknown X-43 was disinterred and the remains were sent to the laboratory for analysis.
To identify Cybowski’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.