WW II airman to be buried in Indiana
Associated Press, 2007

Ensign Harry "Bud" Warnke

GARY, Ind. — A World War II Navy pilot whose remains were identified last year after being excavated from a mountainside crash site on O'ahu will be buried in Indiana this summer, ending his family's long wait for his return.

Ensign Harry "Bud" Warnke's sister, 87-year-old Myrtle Tice, is waiting for warmer weather to bury her brother some 63 years after his death.

Tice, who lives in an Arizona retirement home and has difficulty getting about, will be assisted by her daughter in her journey to Indiana for the funeral. Warnke will be interred in an empty grave site that bears his name at Westville Cemetery, about 20 miles east of Gary.

Her brother's plane crashed on June 15, 1944, in the Ko'olau Range as he was training in aerial dives.

Team members with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command found Warnke's remains in the crumpled wreckage of the F6F-3 Hellcat that crashed at a steep angle on an upper Halawa Valley mountainside.

According to military reports from the time, items and remains from the wreckage were collected and buried at the site shortly before the Gary native's unit left the island for the war in the Pacific.

World War II historian Ted Darcy, who specializes in uncovering the whereabouts of missing soldiers, saw the wreckage himself in 1991 and contacted Tice.

Darcy discovered that a search team found part of the plane and the remains three days after the crash. But his relatives didn't know that until Darcy called Tice nearly 50 years after the crash because the military told them in 1944 that his plane had crashed in the Pacific Ocean.

It took another 15 years for Warnke's remains to be recovered and identified, last summer.