CHESTER, W.Va. (WTRF) —

U.S. Army Air Force 1st Lieutenant Richard Horrigan was shot down during an armed reconnaissance mission in Germany nearly 70 years ago, and his remains were never discovered.  

Lt. Richard Horrigan’s Flight Path

Today, the Horrigan family was able to lay Richard to rest with the support of the community after his remains had miraculously been recovered in August of 2021.  

Procession honors West Virginia pilot killed in World War II

This discovery was one of the 6 air losses discovered in 2019, and it was the DNA of his son and some other family members that brought Lt. Horrigan home. 

Equipment found with Lt. Horrigan’s remains

Dr. Rich Horrigan – Lt. Horrigan’s son – had never met his father, but he is emotional in saying that his hope in honoring his father’s life, is for other families of missing soldiers to feel the gratitude he feels today. 

“I want to give hope to other families of missing veterans that there are still people in the government, and people in other nonprofit agencies. People still care – and it still can happen for them too. I’ve seen pictures of the motorcade and the respect paid, and I’m very gratified for that.”

Dr. Rich Horrigan – Son of Lt. Richard W. Horrigan

Carrying his father’s Distinguished Honor Cross through the service, which he received on his father’s behalf – Dr. Horrigan takes pride in the impact his late father had on the country. 

Dr. Rich Horrigan with his father’s Distinguished Honor Cross

Many others take pride in knowing Lt. Horrigan as well, as members of his past come together to pay the respects they never thought would be possible. 

Family and friends gathered today at Arner Funeral Home in his hometown of Chester for a private ceremony honoring Lt. Horrigan’s service, which was followed by a parade.