More than 70 years since he was killed in action, a World War II veteran was honored Friday at the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center in Utica.
A captain with the Army National Guard presented the family of First Lt. Frank Fazekas with the medals he earned while serving overseas. Fazekas’ plane was shot down in France in May 1944, and up until two years ago his family thought he had been buried in a cemetery in Belguim.
In July 2017, a team if historians and an anthropologist were able to recover Fazekas’ remains from the crash site and they brought him back to the U.S. to be laid to rest alongside his wife.
"I'm happy that he's at Arlington with a number of military heroes," said Frank Fazekas, the WWII veteran's son. "My only regret, my biggest regret is that my mother didn't live long enough to know the actual truth, and that they didn't know that they would one day be together again."
First. Lt. Frank Fazekas was a fighter pilot with the 22nd Fighter Squadron, 36th Fighter-Bomber Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces.
His son followed in his father’s footsteps, later becoming a pilot and working at Griffiss International Airport in Rome.