The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lowell S. Twedt, 27, of Le Grand, Iowa, killed during World War II, was accounted for Dec. 11, 2019.
(This identification was initially published Dec. 13, 2019.)
In the fall of 1944, Twedt was a pilot assigned to the 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group. On Oct. 20, he piloted a P-38J “Lightning” aircraft as part of an escort for a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bombing mission targeting oil storage tanks in Regensburg, Germany. The mission encountered enemy anti-aircraft fire around Bolzano, Italy. Three P-38Js, including Twedt’s, went down as a result. An eyewitness account saw Twedt’s aircraft falling to the ground in flames, and did not see him eject. Twedt’s remains were never recovered.
In 2017, Roland Domanig, a retired physics professor from Austria who had helped DPAA in the past, contacted the agency with news that he had found wreckage of a P-38 he believed to be Twedt’s. Over the course of the next two years, DPAA investigated and excavated the site, recovering remains in September 2019 that were sent to the DPAA laboratory in Offutt, Nebraska, for identification.
To identify Twedt’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as material and circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to Roland Domanig, Armin and Lena Kanetscheider, the Italian Carabinieri, the mayor and local government of Sarentino, Italy, and the U.S. Army Regional Mortuary-Europe/Africa for their partnership in this mission.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,643 still unaccounted for from World War II with approximately 30,000 assessed as possibly recoverable. Twedt’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Impruneta, Italy, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.