Remains of Illinois Marine killed during WWII return home

October 11, 2018
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A United States Marine Corps honor guard carries the casket of USMC Technical Sergeant Harry Carlsen as it arrives aboard a Delta flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 in Chicago. His family as well as Chicago police and fire personnel turned out to honor him. He served in the USMC during WWII as the Quartermaster Maintenance Chief for Company A of the 2nd Marine Divisions' 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion. He was killed in action on Nov. 20, 1943 in Betio Island Red Beach One, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands but his remains were just identified this year. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP)

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago-area Marine killed during World War II has returned home after 75 years being buried in Hawaii as an unknown serviceman.

Patriot and honor guard members escorted the remains of Marine Corps Tech Sgt. Harry Carlsen of Brookfield to Arlington Heights on Wednesday for memorial services. Carlsen’s great nephew, Ed Spellman, joined other relatives and veterans at O’Hare International Airport to meet the casket.

Spellman says a phone call came out of the blue in July that his great-uncle’s body had been identified. He says his mother donated DNA in 2008 for the identification, but she died in 2012.

Carlsen was 31 when he was killed while storming a Japanese stronghold in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands.

He’ll be buried Saturday at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery near Joliet.

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