MOULTON — Korina Hurley, 48, of Macon, Mo., said her uncle received a call in 2010 from an independent research team based in Germany concerning U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert “Bobby” E. Howard, who was in a plane that was shot down over Germany during World War II. The researchers investigate German sites where American soldiers were known to go missing in action or killed in action during World War II.
“At first he thought it was a hoax or a scam,” Hurley said. “Because you don’t get this kind of information 65 years after someone’s been dead.”
Hurley said what they found were remains of her uncle, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert “Bobby” E. Howard.
“They found him,” Hurley said.
The German research team talked to a man in a nearby town who remembered the crash, Hurley said. The man took them to the crash site where the researchers excavated and sifted through 5.5 tons of soil turning up body remains and different articles.
Fortunate for the Howard family, out of the six man crew, two were taken from the crash site and buried nearby in a grave.
“One of those soldiers was my uncle,” Hurley said. “So we are going to have something that the other families will never get to have. So, this is absolutely an incredible, incredible event.”
Robert Howard was born Dec., 19, 1923 in Moulton. He later moved to Moravia to stay with his grandmother and attend school in Moravia. Howard graduated from Moravia Public School in Moravia in 1941 and participated in marching band, orchestra, concert band and dramatics.
Howard enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 19, 1943 and transferred into the U.S. Air Army Air Corps. His military awards and honors include the Purple Heart, Air Medal (with one silver and two bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with three bronze service stars), World War II Victory Medal and Enlisted Crew Wings.