Fallen WWII Airmen honored in Bologna, Italy

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  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Recently, a small but significant memorial service was held in Bologna, Italy, for 2nd Lt. Paul R. Joyce, a U.S. Army Air Corps P-47 pilot shot down during World War II.

Fourteen relatives of Joyce traveled from the U.S. to honor their veteran ancestor. The service was also attended by local Italian civic leaders and community members as well as Airmen from Aviano Air Base.

During WWII, Joyce’s aircraft was shot down by opposing German forces and crashed near Bologna, Italy, where he died on July 5, 1944.

On July 29, 1993, three Italians, who were children at the time of the crash, helped excavate Joyce’s remains. During the memorial service, other local Italians who were also children at the time, swapped personal stories and memories of the moments following the crash in 1944.

A U.S. Army Air Corps replica plane performed aerial maneuvers in honor of Joyce’s honorable service during the memorial ceremony.