Gov. Christie Orders Flags Lowered for WWII Soldier

Staff Sgt. Zoltan Dobovich's remains were discovered over 65 years after his disappearance.

Thanks to improvements in DNA technology a Jackson family will be able to bury a member of their family who crashed in the mountains of Italy at the end of World War II.

To honor Staff Sgt. Zoltan Dobovich's story Gov. Chris Christie ordered all flags to be flown at half staff on the day of his funeral. 

According to an executive order from the Governor Dobovich was from Riegelsville, PA and was serving with a United States Army air crew when his plane was reported missing in 1946. His last flight was scheduled to go from Italy to England but never made it to its final destination. 

An extensive search was conducted when his flight was reported missing but nothing was found until recently. 

Dobovich's remains were recently returned to his family including his nephew Carlton, 65, of Jackson who said it has been a long journey for the uncle he never knew and the brother his father and other uncle always spoke very highly of. The nephew was given his middle name in honor of his late uncle.

Thanks to DNA evidence that was collected from other family members Dobovich will be able to be buried next to his brother at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery. "It's really good to have him home," Carlton said. 

He had been buried with his crew members at Arlington National Cemetery but his nephew said it is good that he will be with family now, even family members he never met. "I am just amazed that the Army pursued getting the DNA," he said. 

The family moved to New Jersey in the 1950's and Dobovich said he grew up hearing stories about his uncle from his brothers. "When you talked to them their eyes would get really sparkly then they would get sad because you could tell they were missing him," he said. 

Dobovich said he believed the B-17 Bomber his uncle's crew was flying that day had been converted to a cargo plane but the family never found out where they were heading on that fateful flight. 

A viewing for Dobovich will be held tonight at the Perinchief Chapels in Mount Holly before the funeral at the military cemetary tomorrow. Dobovich said weather permitting there will be a flyover by military personnel in honor of his uncle's service.

John Hayes December 27, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Amazing story, and a fitting tribute.
George Brons January 21, 2013 at 10:47 PM
This guy and his family never had closure. He's a hero on every dimension. People are only dead if they are forgotten. He lives on. We all enjoy the freedom people like him sacrificed for us. I honor him and his family who's loss I can't imagine.


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