(CNN) — Seventy-five years after a World War II pilot’s plane went down in the Mediterranean, his remains have finally been returned home to Ohio for burial.

Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. James R. Lord went missing on August 10, 1944, after his plane crashed into the sea near Corsica. Lord was only 20 at the time and was engaging enemy gunfire in the Savona region of northwest Italy, according to a military news release.

Lord was presumed dead and his name was added to the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery in Italy, where more than 4,000 American service members are buried.

He remained missing until last year, when divers spotted the wreckage of his plane and his remains on the sea floor.

A native of Conneaut, Ohio, Lord was returned to his family Saturday when his remains were flown to Cleveland. His casket was draped with an American flag and escorted by police to Marcy Funeral Home in his hometown.

“My cousin James Lord was an absolute hero,” Rick Gleason told CNN affiliate WJW. “The good thing to know is that our government is out there looking for these men and women that are missing in action in hopes that we can bring them all home.”

Of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII, more than 72,000 remain missing, according to the news release from the US Air Force. Among the missing are 24 members of the 57th Fighter Group, which Lord belonged to.

A rosette will be placed next to his name on the Tablets of the Missing to indicate he has been accounted for. Lord will be buried with full military honors on June 22 in Conneaut, according to his obituary.

The-CNN-Wire
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