VICTORIA, Minn. (WCCO) — Named “Heaven Can Wait,” the wait to find the wreckage of the World War II B-24 bomber is finally over for Clayton Emmer and his family.
His uncle, Sgt. John W. Emmer Jr., was on board that plane, serving as an aerial photographer when it was shot down by enemy fire over waters near New Guinea in 1944.
Eleven lives were lost.
The plane wasn’t recovered until last fall when the group Project Recover found wreckage of the plane on the ocean floor.
To celebrate the discovery and thank the people who made it possible, family members of the crew from across the country met at Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria on Saturday.
“Please know of our love and our gratitude for your life as son, brother and friend and for your generous service to our country. Rest in peace, Uncle John,” Emmer said.
Sgt. Emmer was the only service member on that bomber from Minnesota, but the families chose to gather here because of the state’s central location.
One by one, they shared stories and pictures, keeping the memories alive of those brave men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
There are still tens of thousands of World War II service members who are still unaccounted for.
Sgt. Emmer was just 26 years old when he was killed serving his country.