FINDLAY, Ohio — The remains of a gunner whose plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean during World War II have been identified and returned to his sister in Ohio after more than 70 years.

A funeral for Ora Sharninghouse Jr. was scheduled Saturday in Findlay, where his 84-year-old sister, Joan Stough, lives.

She was 11 when he went missing in action in 1944. She tells The Blade newspaper their family never had a funeral for Sharninghouse because their mother held out hope he might return.

The remains of sailor Ora Sharninghouse Jr., whose aircraft crashed in the Pacific in 1944 during World War II, were returned to his sister after 73 years. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)
The remains of sailor Ora Sharninghouse Jr., whose aircraft crashed in the Pacific in 1944 during World War II, were returned to his sister after 73 years. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

The remains of Sharninghouse and a radioman were recovered from their torpedo bomber in 2014 near the Republic of Palau. DNA testing helped identify them.

Stough says she was stunned when the U.S. Navy told her last August that her brother’s remains were identified and would be returned to her.