BLAIRSTOWN — Officials say the remains of a World War II soldier found in present-day Papua New Guinea, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, will be given final rest in Eastern Iowa.
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 for 10:45 a.m. Friday at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Blairstown.
Ebert, born on Nov. 24, 1914, near Blairstown in Benton County, and his brother, Wayne, were mentioned in The Gazette in July 1929 when they received first-class badges as Boy Scouts.
Other articles noted his interest in music — he played saxophone — and drama at Blairstown High School.
He enlisted in the Army on Dec. 31, 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor
At the time of his death, he was survived by his parents, two brothers and three sisters, none of whom are still living.