NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — The remains of a Korean War veteran who was captured in 1950 have been returned to his Ohio family, and he’ll be buried Friday next to his parents.
Army Cpl. Charles “Perky” White Jr. had been considered missing in action for 66 years.
June Chuvalas, White’s only surviving sibling and who still lives in the family’s hometown of New Lexington, said her older brother died in 1951. His unidentified remains were then taken to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.
Officials in Fort Knox, Kentucky, notified his family about five weeks ago that DNA samples taken from White’s relatives matched the remains.
“For all these years he laid in a national cemetery underneath a granite stone marked unknown, only having a number assigned to his casket,” Rick Chuvalas, June’s son, told the Times Recorder in Zanesville.
His casket, draped in an American flag, was flown to Columbus on Tuesday. Members of the Army Honor Guard carried White’s remains to the hearse that would take him home.
She was the only person at the airport on a bus full of family members who personally knew White.
Small crowds applauded his return along the route to New Lexington on Tuesday. Hundreds held flags and signs, waved and saluted at the passing motorcade in the village’s downtown section.
White will be buried Friday with full military honors at a cemetery in New Lexington. June Chuvalas said the family plans to place a flower on his grave.
“I just feel relieved,” she told the Times Recorder. “I know where he’s at. I know that he’s back here with us instead of way over there.”