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Frozen WWII airman buried.

// News about the frozen WWII airman which was buried.

Leo Mustonen's frozen body was discovered last October by climbers in California's Sierra Nevada mountains (on the Darwin Glacier) and it was recently identified through DNA tests at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

When his body was found, his nameplate was corroded but he had a Shaffer fountain pen and a coin in his pocket dated 1942.

Mustonen who was 22-year-old and three others were training to fight in the war when his AT-7 training plane crashed on November 18, 1942, after leaving Sacramento's Mather Field.

  Leo Mustonen was buried at a private ceremony in his hometown (Brainerd), in the same cemetery where his parents are buried, more than six decades after the young man disappeared.

The World War II airman was raised by Finnish immigrant parents in this central Minnesota community. Mustonen's family belonged to Lutheran Church.

The reverend Andy Smith, who preached at the funeral, said the service would be unique because of the long time between Mustonen's death and his burial, but the preparations would be similar to those for other funerals he has led.

March 25, 2006

First Coast News

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