After 73 years, the remains of Lt. Ewart T. Sconiers will be returned to his family in DeFuniak Springs early next year.
TALLAHASSEE — State Sen. George Gainer (R-Panama City) and Rep. Brad Drake (R-Eucheeanna) have filed legislation that will rename a portion of U.S. 90/S.R. 10 in Walton County “Lieutenant Ewart T. Sconiers Highway” in honor of the World War II hero from DeFuniak Springs.
Lt. Sconiers, U.S. Army Air Corps, 97th Bomb Group, 414th Bomb Squadron, was among the Johnny Reb, Jr. crew shot down and taken captive by Germans. He spent 12 days in the "cooler" at Dulag Luft in Oberursel near Frankfurt. He was imprisoned Nov. 11, 1942 in German-occupied Poland in Stalag Luft III. About 14 months after capture, Sconiers died and has been missing since January 1944. Lt. Sconiers earned the Distinguished Service Cross "for courage and skill in the face of great danger and overwhelming odds" and for "upholding the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States."
After 73 years, the remains of Lt. Sconiers will be returned to his family in DeFuniak Springs early next year. His recovery is historic, in that he had been the only POW to be unrecovered from Stalag Luft III, the German prison camp. Many of Lt. Sconiers’ family reside along the portion of the highway Senate Bill 330 and House Bill 109 propose for designation to honor the POW pilot.
“I am so proud to introduce this legislation in honor of this American hero," Gainer said. "This is the very least we can do to ensure the valiant service of Lt. Sconiers is given the recognition it deserves.”
Drake, who is sponsoring the legislation in the House of Representatives, said, “Ewart Sconiers was a true American hero. And I am proud to memorialize this noble man’s service in a way that our community will show honor to his heroism for years and years.”
The Lieutenant Ewart T. Sconiers Highway Bill will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday. The bill unanimously passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee in the House of Representatives earlier this week and will be heard in the House Transportation and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday.