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Army sergeant to be buried in Nebraska after 70 years

September 17, 2018

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — A soldier who died as a prisoner of war in North Korea will be laid to rest in Nebraska, providing closure to his 71-year-old son who never got to know him.

Army Master Sgt. Leonard Chinn will be laid to rest next to his wife’s grave during a funeral Wednesday in Silver Creek, The Columbus Telegram reported .

Chinn was originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was reportedly captured in 1950 while fighting Chinese attacks in North Korea and held at prisoner camps before dying at a North Korean complex in 1951.

His son, Rodney Chinn, was 3 years old when his father disappeared. He was recently notified that his father’s remains had been identified through DNA and anthropological testing by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Rodney Chinn said he doesn’t have much memory of his father but is relieved to finally get closure.

“I was just so happy; it’s going to be a closing finally after 67 years now,” he said. “Now my mother and father will be together again.”

Rodney Chinn said his father received numerous military recognitions, including the Silver Star for saving the lives of six wounded soldiers.

“With complete disregard for his personal safety, Sergeant Chinn voluntarily advanced over an area which was exposed to enemy fire on six separate occasions and, unassisted, evacuated a wounded man to safety on each trip,” according to a newspaper clipping Rodney Chinn has kept.

Rodney Chinn said he hopes to honor his father’s memory by having his uniform, war medals and an American flag displayed at a museum.

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Information from: Columbus Telegram, http://www.columbustelegram.com

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