WWII pilot once thought missing buried in Memphis

(WMC-TV) - A World War II pilot from Memphis who was shot down on Christmas Day, 1943 was buried with military honors Saturday.

Major Hugh Muse was only 23 at this time of his death.  He was flying his 50th mission over Italy when his plane was shot down.

For years he was considered missing in action, but the military recently identified his body.

Hymns echoed through Memorial Park Cemetery as family and friends of Muse said their final goodbye.

"He was on his 50th mission on Christmas Day of 1943 when he was shot down in a dogfight," said his niece, Linda Tagert.  "Shot down over a small town in Italy."

His remains were found and buried by an Italian farmer.  Airplane enthusiasts in Italy were searching out flights that were never recovered and found the further remains.

"I had no siblings, so he and my other cousins were sort of brothers and sisters to me, and he was sort of my hero," said his first cousin, T.W. Lewis.

Muse was laid to rest with full military honors.  His parents are also buried at Memorial Park Cemetery.

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