Iowa WWII veteran remains identified and returned after 75 years

AMES, Iowa — A World War II veteran finally made his way home for a memorial after his death in 1944.

Ames, Iowa saw the return of Corporal Ralph Bennet to his hometown after he was deployed to the Pacific Theater. He was last seen in June 1944 after he participated in the siege of Myitkyina in present-day Burma. U.S. forces were unable to recover his remains until after the war a sweeping effort was made to recover troop remains across the Pacific.

Bennett’s remains were transferred to a barracks in Hawaii in 1947, where they were unable to be identified and were subsequently buried in Honolulu in 1949.

In July 2018, the remains were identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency thanks to improving technology and new evidence. A memorial for Bennett was held on Saturday, August 3rd. in Ames.

Bennett has a long list of military honors, including the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Metal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and Honorable Service Lapel Button.

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