BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The remains of two World War II veterans from Minnesota who died in combat will finally be returned to their respective hometowns this Memorial Day weekend, nearly 72 years after their deaths.
Navy machinist John Anderson, 24, of Willmar, never received a proper military funeral after he was killed on the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, D-Day. But after decades of waiting in an unknown grave, he will be laid to rest thanks to the efforts of his surviving relatives, a Willmar military historian and a Minnesota lawmaker, KARE-TV reported.
In 2009, Anderson’s family learned of a new lead in his death, which led them to believe he was buried at Normandy American Military Cemetery.
After requests to the federal government for DNA testing were denied, another request to test the remains in the unknown grave was submitted to a Department of Defense division, along with a letter of support from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
In 2015, his remains were disinterred from the unknown grave in a Normandy American Military Cemetery, and then positively identified at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Anderson’s remains will…