DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL -- (WTVY) A local man who died as a prisoner of war during World War II will return to his family in DeFuniak Springs to be laid to rest.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers, 27, of DeFuniak Springs, will be buried in his hometown January 27th.
On October 21, 1942, Sconiers was part of an attack to bomb a German u-boat pen in France when the aircraft he was on received severe damage and the crew had to evacuate via parachute. The crew was picked up by a French fishing boat and turned over to the Germans as prisoners of war. In November of that year, Sconiers was transferred to Sagan, Germany (present day Zagan, Poland) where he remained until January 9, 1944.
Sconiers was taken to a camp hospital after acting erratically and complaining of an ear ache. He was transferred to a hospital in Luben, Germany (present day Lubin, Poland) where he died on January 24, 1944. He was buried by fellow prisoners.
Between 2006 and 2015 there were multiple searches to find Sconiers' remains. His body was found in 2015 in a French military cemetery in Gdansk, Poland. Through DNA testing, scientists were able identify Sconiers' remains on April 5, 2017. He will be buried in his hometown on the 74th anniversary of his initial burial.
Florida lawmakers Senator George Gainer and Representative Brad Drake want lawmakers to rename part of Highway 90 in Walton County to honor Sconiers. Many of his family members live along the portion of Highway 90 the lawmakers want to rename in honor of the WWII veteran.