Search team finds dog tags of pilot killed in WWII

Photo:  Daniel Hintz

Hans Wronka, the Duluth man who set out in July to find the airplane in which his grandfather died in World War II, has discovered dog tags in a hay stack.

“It was euphoric,” Eric Trueblood, co-owner of AirCorps Aviation, tells the Bemidji Pioneer. Trueblood has worked on the project to find the plane where it went down in Italy in 1945. They found Lt. Loren E. Hintz’ dog tags. “If you think about finding something less than ⅛ of an inch thick and maybe an inch-and-a-half by two-and-a-half inches total. To think that you would actually be able to find something like that is remarkable.”

He says plane parts were also found in the area where a team searched last week.

Some human remains were found but he says it’s not known if they belonged to Hintz.

“To think of that family searching for 12 years to find that site, to have it close the loop was really interesting,” Trueblood tells the paper. “You go there searching for an airplane, but what you really find is people and how much good there is out there and what community really is.”

(h/t: Kari Knudson)