LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A WWII pilot, whose plane was shot down over Germany, is finally home. His sacrifice was honored Monday as his remains were buried at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

“Today we finally brought my uncle home,” said Greg Seckman, nephew to Army Air Force 1st Lt. Carl Nesbitt.

A long-awaited return for Lt. Nesbitt and his family.

“This was especially meaningful for my mother who was his sister,” Seckman said. “This was to honor his memory, his sacrifice, his service, his courage, his commitment.”

In 1944, Nesbitt’s plane was shot down over Germany during a bombing mission. Nesbitt and three crew members were killed, and his remains were later declared non-recoverable.

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“I have letters from my grandfather,” Seckman said. “[He] kept writing the Department of Defense, the Red Cross, ‘Have you found my boy, have you found my boy?'”

Finally, in 2019, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency excavated the crash site and discovered remains. Nesbitt was identified in September 2022.

“When I shared this with my mother, she was overwhelmed that her brother was coming home,” Seckman said.

Less than a year later, his remains were buried at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery and his sacrifice was honored.

Jesse Hauskins was one of many who spoke at the ceremony. Hauskins’ father was also on that plane with Nesbitt, one of six crew members who managed to escape and survive.

“It’s just incredible to think that 80 years ago, if Lt. Nesbitt hadn’t made the sacrifices that he made,” Hauskins said.

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Hauskins said without that sacrifice, he wouldn’t be here.

“Sacrificed their today for your tomorrows,” he said.

Now, 80 years later, Nesbitt’s family has their hero back.

“Thank the army and history flight and our nation. For its pledge to fulfill its promise to leave no one behind,” Seckman said.