The 21-year-old Ford, of Latrobe, was the pilot of a B-24J aircraft known as the Tulsamerican. On Dec. 17, 1944, the Tulsamerican was the lead aircraft targeting oil refineries in Germany when it came under attack.
It was heavily damaged, forcing Ford to crash-land in the Adriatic Sea. Seven crew members survived and were rescued. Three, including Ford, were killed. Their remains could not be recovered until 2017.
Information from: Tribune-Review, http://triblive.com