SACRAMENTO – On behalf of all Californians, Governor Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor U.S. Army Air Force 2nd Lt. Valorie L. Pollard, 25, a WWII airman missing since 1944.
Earlier this month, the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced that 2nd Lt. Pollard’s remains have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
2nd Lt. Pollard bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation, and the Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family at this difficult time. In memorial, Governor Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol today. 2nd Lt. Pollard’s family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.
The following information was provided by DPMO:
On March 13, 1944, Pollard was a crew member of an A-20G Havoc bomber that failed to return to base in a country now known as Papua New Guinea. The aircraft crashed after attacking enemy targets on the island. In 2012, the A-20G crash site in the mountains of Papua New Guinea was excavated and the remains of Pollard were recovered.
There are more than 400,000 American service members that were killed during WWII, and the remains of more than 73,000 were never recovered or identified.