Remains of WWII radioman return to western Michigan hometown

December 7, 2017

Members of the Navy Operation Support Center from Battle Creek, Mich., carry the casket of Navy Airman Albert Rybarczyk into Starks Family Funeral Home, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in St. Joseph, Mich. The 22-year-old Rybarczyk was killed when his plane crashed during World War II. The wreckage was discovered in 2014 and DNA samples of the remains were taken and a positive identification was confirmed in August. (Kaytie Boomer/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — The remains of a Navy radioman killed in a World War II plane crash have been returned to his western Michigan hometown.

A military escort carried the casket of Navy Reserve Aviation Radioman 2nd Class Albert Rybarczyk into a St. Joseph funeral home on Thursday.

Military officials identified his remains in August from among wreckage found in 2014. Rybarczyk was 22 when the plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean near the Philippines while on a bombing run in 1944.

Eighty-seven-year-old Mary Ann Rybarczyk says she had no words to describe the return of her brother’s remains. She says he’ll be buried next to their parents.

A funeral Mass is set for Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

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