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WWII veteran’s remains return home after 73 years

October 26, 2017

In this Oct. 25, 2017 photo, a Fort Leonard Wood Honors Team escorts the flag-draped casket with the remains of Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello into Staab Funeral Home in Springfield, Ill. Aiello went missing Sept. 30 1944, during intense fighting near the bridge at Nijmegen in the Netherlands. About eight years ago, the military disinterred a set of remains that were later identified as Aiello. Family members in the Springfield area provided DNA samples to confirm the identity and arrangements were made to transport the remains back to Springfield this week. (Ted Schurter /The State Journal-Register via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The remains of a World War II veteran have returned to Illinois after more than 70 years.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello’s remains arrived Wednesday night in Springfield, The State Journal-Register reported. His remains were exhumed about eight years ago and were identified with DNA samples provided by his family.

Aiello will be laid to rest at Camp Butler National Cemetery with military honors during a graveside service open to the public on Saturday. A procession will depart from Staab Funeral Home.

Aiello was born in St. Louis in 1909. His family moved to Springfield in 1918, where he lived until he enlisted in the Army in 1942.

Aiello advanced to the rank of staff sergeant within two years was assigned to a glider infantry regiment. He was involved in D-Day, and his unit was later assigned to Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands.

The operation called for glider and airborne troops to seize bridges and hold them until British armor units arrived.

Military records show Aiello went missing on Sept. 30, 1944, during a battle near the Waal River bridge at Nijmegen. The military issued a presumptive finding of death about one year later. He was 35.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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