For 63 years the body of James Austin Sisney lay on a remote Pacific island, visited only by the natives who live near the mountain where the Redwood City man’s Marine bomber crashed during World War II. Sisney and six other crew members died April 22, 1944, when their twin-engine plane slammed into a cliff face during a night training mission above Espiritu Santo, the largest island in the South Pacific archipelago now known as Vanuatu.
That information never reached the men’s loved ones, however. A military report on the crash disappeared amid the confusion of war, and the whereabouts of the
plane became a mystery. Some families thought it had gone down in the ocean. They didn’t learn the truth until several years ago, when a persistent relative of one of the crew members discovered the crash site. As a result of that endeavor, Tech. Sgt. Sisney will return this week to the country he died protecting. A portion of his remains will be buried Friday with full military honors at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno. A ceremony for the entire crew will take place in October at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.