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WWII soldier's remains returned for burial Friday in eastern Iowa

Laurel Ebert
Laurel Ebert

BLAIRSTOWN, Iowa — 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.

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 inaction.

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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