Remains of World War II soldier to be buried in Virginia

May 4, 2022 GMT

FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) — The remains of a soldier killed during World War II and identified earlier this year are to be buried in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, a news release says.

Graveside services for Army Air Forces Pvt. 1st Class Edward H. Benson Jr. are scheduled for May 14, the U.S. Army Human Resources Command said.

Benson was assigned to the 1562nd Army Air Force Base Unit on Biak Island, part of what is now Indonesia. He was among 40 service members killed on March 22, 1945, during a Japanese raid on an airstrip.

Benson, who was 22, was one of four service members who could not be identified or accounted for. The remains were buried at Fort William McKinley Cemetery, now known as Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines. The other three were identified, but Benson was declared non-recoverable.

Benson’s son twice sought another assessment from the former Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a predecessor to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. In January 2020, the unidentified remains were disinterred and sent to the DPAA laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.

Benson’s remains were identified on Jan. 31 using circumstantial evidence, as well as dental, anthropological and DNA analysis.