WWII airman finally to receive proper burial
Leo Mustonenís body was found in Sierra Nevada mountains in October

BRAINERD, Minn. - The World War II airman whose body was found on a mountainside more than six decades after his plane crashed was raised by Finnish immigrant parents in this central Minnesota community.

Leo Mustonen, who was just 22 when he died preparing to join the war effort, was scheduled to be laid to rest Friday in his hometown, interred in the same cemetery where his parents are buried.

Mustonenís body was found by climbers in October in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and it was recently identified through DNA tests at Hickam Air Force Base in Oahu, Hawaii.

He was with three others on an AT-7 navigational training plane that crashed Nov. 18, 1942, after leaving Sacramentoís Mather Field.

The Rev. Andy Smith, who will preach at the funeral at First Lutheran Church, said the service will be unique because of the long time between Mustonenís death and his burial, but the preparations are similar to those for other funerals he has led.

Mustonenís family belonged to Messiah Lutheran Church, a Finnish-Lutheran congregation that merged with First Lutheran in the mid-1960s.