Your Navy

Ceremony to salute fallen WWII pilots

PRESTON, Conn. — A memorial is being organized to honor two World War II Navy pilots who were killed when their fighter planes collided midair and crashed in Connecticut.

The Norwich Area Veterans Council has organized a 75th anniversary memorial ceremony on Saturday for the fallen aviators, Ensigns George Kraus and Merle Longnecker.

The Norwich Bulletin reports the ceremony will include a flyover of four Navy fighter jets coming from Virginia.

They will also conduct “a missing-man formation” above the Preston Library to salute the two men.

Both men were 22 years old and taking part in a combat training flight in October 1944 above Norwich State Hospital when they crashed into each other.

The council has helped protect the crash sites for more than a decade and put wreaths at the site ever year.

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