FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
WWII MIA, Second Lieutenant FRED BREWER laid to rest at
Charlotte, NC — After 79 years missing from World War II, U.S. Army Air Forces Tuskegee Airmen Second Lieutenant Fred L. Brewer Jr. of Charlotte has finally come home. His remains were laid to rest with full military honors at Salisbury National Cemetery today.
2nd Lt. Brewer was accounted for on August 10, 2023, by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). His remains were received by his family and the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NC DMVA) at Charlotte Douglas International Airport last Thursday, November 30th. A repatriation ceremony was conducted by United States Army representatives from Fort Liberty Religious Support Office. After the plane side honors and the dignity transfer, 2nd Lt. Brewer’s remains were escorted by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and a military honor motorcade to his hometown.
A memorial service for 2nd Lt. Brewer was held today at 10:00 a.m. at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, and interment with full military honors in Salisbury National Cemetery following the service.
“Another brave North Carolinian who fought for freedom in World War II has returned home this year,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We owe a deep debt of gratitude to 2nd Lt. Brewer who made the ultimate sacrifice, and we remain committed to bringing every missing service member back to our state.”
LtGen Walter E. Gaskin, USMC (Ret.), Secretary of the NC DMVA presented Brewer’s family with a letter from Governor Cooper, certificates, and a flag that was flown over the State Capitol in his honor.
“After all these years, 2nd Lt. Brewer’s family will finally get some closure from his return,” said Secretary Gaskin, “His devotion to duty, courage, and dedication are in the highest traditions of service. We honor his ultimate sacrifice for our country with appreciation for the inspiration he instilled in all of us. His legacy will not be forgotten.”
2nd Lt. Brewer was a pilot with the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, also known as the Tuskegee Airmen. They were the nation’s first African American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces who received training in Tuskegee, Alabama. On October 19, 1944, 23-year-old Brewer was assigned to escort bombers to their target in Regensburg, Germany. He crashed in Italy during the mission. His remains were not recovered, and he was declared missing in action. In 2011, a memorial made from the wreckage of his plane was discovered in Italy. In 2022, remains were exhumed and sent to DPAA Laboratory for examination and identification. 79 years after declared missing, on August 10,2023, DPAA identified the remains of 2nd Lt. Brewer through anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence.
Link to photos (Repatriation ceremony, memorial service, and interment) –
2nd Lt. Brewer’s Service Member Personnel Profile –