Veteran's remains laid to rest in hometown 72 years after D-Day death

Staff Writer

Nearly 72 years after a young U.S. sailor was killed on D-Day, his remains were laid to rest Saturday in his Minnesota hometown in a ceremony for a hero whose grave was unknown for decades — but who was never forgotten.

The quest to bring home the remains of 24-year-old Motor Machinist Mate 1st Class John E. Anderson is one that took years, stymied by misinformation and a lack of effort by the French and U.S. governments. The dogged pursuit of his nephew — who was a boy when Anderson left for World War II — an amateur military researcher and a U.S. senator all made the burial in Willmar, Minn., possible.

"I feel relieved and pleased that I was able to honor him," said Don Franklin, a 77-year-old retired professor from Pittsburgh who spent years trying to find the uncle he fondly remembers as "cheery" and "always thinking about family."

"My grandparents and mother had always been upset there was no body to honor," Franklin told "Today he's finally home."

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