THE remains of a WWII spitfire pilot found in wreckage in northern France last year have been identified as Victorian airman William James Smith.
Sgt Smith vanished during a dog fight over the English Channel on May 9, 1942.
Found last year by a film crew making a documentary about the war, the 24-year-old was identified with war records and personal items including his uniform and a disc etched with his name and identification number.
Sgt William James Smith was originally from Whittlesea and was posted to RAAF Number 457 Squadron, attached to the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II.
His Squadron had been escorting a bombing mission to Bruges, Belgium.
Sergeant Smith was last seen near the coast of France engaged in a dogfight with an enemy aircraft at 20,000 feet over the English Channel.
Photos of recovered artefacts https://ra.af/ruLe3t
Federal Defence Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon said Sgt Smith's identification meant he would be buried with the dignity and respect he deserved.
Sgt Smith will be buried in April at the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Arneke, France.
(Courtesy of Royal Australian Air Force)