FORT KNOX, Ky. (FOX 44) – The remains of a soldier killed during World War II were interred at the Lake Grove Cemetery in Iola on Thursday. The Nobles Funeral Home in Navasota performed graveside services preceding the interment.
According to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, U.S. Army Air Forces Tech. Sgt. Elton L. Gomillion is a native of Iola. He was an engineer assigned to the 409th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 9th Air Force.
Sgt. Gomillion was aboard a B-24 Liberator bomber when it crashed on August 1, 1943. This came after being hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire during Operation TIDAL WAVE, the largest bombing mission against the oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, north of Bucharest, Romania.
Sgt. Gomillion’s remains could not be identified following the war. He was 22 years old. Remains that could not be identified were buried as unknowns in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery of Bolovan, Ploiesti, Prahova, Romania.
According to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, the American Graves Registration Command disinterred all American remains from the Bolovan cemetery for identification following the war. More than 80 unknowns could not be identified, and were interred at Ardennes American Cemetery and Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, both in Belgium. The remains were exhumed again by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in 2017, and were sent to the DPAA Laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for examination and identification.
Sgt. Gomillion was accounted for by the DPAA on March 30, 2023. This came after his remains were identified using anthropological, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.
The U.S. Army Human Resources Command says Sgt. Gomillion’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery in Impruneta, Italy, along with others still missing from World War II. A rosette was placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.