Updated:
Original:

WWII soldier's remains will finally be buried this weekend

Author:

A World War II soldier's remains are coming home to Minnesota.

Army Pvt. John P. Sersha, a 20-year-old from Leoneth, will be buried with full military honors in Eveleth over Memorial Day weekend – nearly 72 years after he went missing, according to a news release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Sersha was assigned to Company F, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment as part of Operation Market Garden. He was one of three "Bazooka Men" sent out to assault the Germans who controlled Kiekberg Woods in the Netherlands on Sept. 27, 1944.

But he and the two other "Bazooka Men" didn't return from battle, and several soldiers said Sersha had been killed – but his body wasn't found.

On April 12, 1948, the American Graves Registration Command recovered two sets of remains from an isolated grave in the Kiekberg Woods. One of the remains was identified, but the other – believed to be Sersha, but officials couldn't confirm it – was buried at the United States Military Cemetery at Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium.

Then last December, at the request of Sersha's family, the unidentified remains were exhumed. Officials used DNA, which matched Sersha's nephew and brother, along with dental and anthropological analysis, laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence to identify Sersha.

Sersha's nephew Dick Lohry spoke with the Fay Observer last month about what led to the family's recent push to find his remains. In 2005, Lohry was given a photo of his uncle's name listed on a memorial at a cemetery in Europe, and that renewed his efforts to identify his uncle.

More about Sersha

Sersha was born on April 24, 1924, and lived in Leoneth, which is an area of Eveleth in northeastern Minnesota, according to his obituary.

Before joining the U.S. Army in 1943, he worked for the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad Company. He trained in Texas before he was sent to Maryland, where he was assigned to the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment. From there, he went to Europe for the war.

A visitation is scheduled for Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the Bauman-Cron Funeral Home in Virginia, Minnesota, with a funeral service set for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Interment with full military honors will be held at the Eveleth Cemetery following the ceremony.

Roughly 16 million Americans served in World War II – 400,000 were killed, including 7,800 Minnesotans, according to the Minnesota Historical Society and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Next Up

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.

unsplas - maple leaf frost fall lawn

MN gets its first frost advisories, freeze warnings of the season

The coldest spots could dip to below 30 degrees overnight.

Fleck

Ahead of Big Ten clash, Huskers fans spend their Friday mocking PJ Fleck

Huskers fans are in a playful mood ahead of Saturday's game.

Related

Remains of MN Marine killed in WWII will finally be buried

Sgt. James Joseph Hubert was killed in 1943.

St. Cloud soldier killed in Korea more than 60 years ago finally buried at home

The remains of St. Cloud soldier who went missing in Korea in 1950 and was declared dead a year later have finally been buried in his hometown. The St. Cloud Times reports that the remains of U.S. Army Cpl. Francis John “Fuzzy” Reimer were identified with DNA samples submitted by his mother and sister 11 years ago.

Remains of Minn. fighter pilot killed in Vietnam to be buried at Ft. Snelling

The remains of Navy Lt. William E. Swanson, a 27-year-old pilot from Minnesota whose plane went down in 1965 during the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors Monday at Ft. Snelling.

WWII veteran, Twin Cities business owner finally receives H.S. diploma

After 70 years, a World War II veteran from Fargo, N.D., can call finally call himself a high school graduate. Teddy Wong, who was drafted into the Army during his junior year of high school, was given an honorary diploma Saturday in Fargo. Wong is the owner of the longest family-owned business in Roseville.