WWII soldier’s remains returned for burial in eastern Iowa

Laurel Ebert, image from SSG Christie Smith Public Affairs Specialist with the IA National Guard, 9-17-19

BLAIRSTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Officials say the remains of a World War II soldier found in present-day Papua New Guinea will be given final rest in eastern Iowa.

Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered all flags in Iowa to fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, September 20, 2019 to honor the fallen U.S. soldier.

The Iowa National Guard says Pvt. Laurel Ebert, of Blairstown, was last seen Nov. 26, 1942, when he and eight other soldiers went on a mission to silence a Japanese machine gun. The 27-year-old was serving with Company I, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. Ebert and five others didn’t return from the mission and were listed as missing in action.

The release says remains later identified as those of Ebert were found in January 1943 and interred at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. They were disinterred in May 2015 by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Dental, anthropological and DNA analysis were used to confirm the remains were Ebert’s.

A graveside service is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. Friday at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Blairstown.

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