A soldier first declared missing in 1943 may soon be put to rest in North Texas.

The remains of 1st Lt. Tommy Taylor, who served in the Army Air Force 449th Fighter Squadron during World War II, may have been found. Taylor’s plane was shot down during a bombing mission over southern China on October 31, 1943.

A genealogist contracted by the Army believes that 90-year-old Agnes Stamps could be Taylor’s maternal first cousin once removed — his oldest and closest living relative.

Stamps, who lives in Fort Worth, recently provided DNA samples in order to confirm the relation, per NBC 5 DFW.

Stamps’ daughter, Laura Thomas, had never heard about Taylor.

“If we can help do our part to help identify this soldier and bring him home, I think that’s pretty awesome,” Laura told NBC 5. “It’s an honor to know that I’m related to someone that died for our country.”

Taylor, born in Johnson County and then resided in Falfurrias, was only 22 years old when he died.

“It was shocking at first,” Robert Thomas, Laura’s husband, told NBC 5. “You realize how important it is that his remains were found.”

“He was a Texan,” he added. “He needs a hero’s welcome.”

Only time will tell whether the family’s DNA is a match for Taylor. Still, the case is just one example of the recent work the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has been doing to recover and identify lost service members’ remains.

Last year, a total of 88 WWII soldiers were laid to rest, including another Texan, 1st Lt. Noel Emerson Shoup.

As previously covered in The Dallas Express, Shoup was buried at Greens Creek Baptist Church in his hometown of Dublin on September 11, 2023, which would have been his 105th birthday. The 25-year-old served with the 359th Bombardment Squadron and 303rd Bombardment Group. His plane was shot down during a bombing raid over Nazi-occupied France on February 28, 1944.

Through DNA technology, his remains were able to be identified, consolidated, and sent to Texas, where they were laid to rest in the presence of his living relatives and service members from Fort Cavazo and the Patriot Guard Riders.