Remains of long-lost WWII soldier buried as 'Unknown' is identified as Illinois ... trends now

Remains of long-lost WWII soldier buried as 'Unknown' is identified as Illinois ... trends now
Remains of long-lost WWII soldier buried as 'Unknown' is identified as Illinois ... trends now

Remains of long-lost WWII soldier buried as 'Unknown' is identified as Illinois ... trends now

The remains of a long-lost World War II soldier have been identified after the man died in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp more than 80 years ago.

US Army Private 1st Class Harry Jerele, Illinois, died of pneumonia at the age of 26 in the Philippines and was buried with other deceased prisoners in a mass grave.

Remains from that grave were exhumed in 2020 and analyzed by forensic scientists who used anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence and DNA analysis to determine the remains were Jerele.

After 81 years, the fallen soldier is set to be buried in his homeland this October.

US Army Private 1st Class Harry Jerele, Illinois , died of pneumonia at the age of 26 in the Philippines and was buried with other deceased prisoners in a mass grave

US Army Private 1st Class Harry Jerele, Illinois , died of pneumonia at the age of 26 in the Philippines and was buried with other deceased prisoners in a mass grave

His niece, Rosemary Dillion, is his only surviving relative. 'It's a great feeling to finally accomplish this identification,' Dillon said. 'I only wish my mother and grandmother were here to witness his homecoming'

His niece, Rosemary Dillion, is his only surviving relative. 'It's a great feeling to finally accomplish this identification,' Dillon said. 'I only wish my mother and grandmother were here to witness his homecoming'

'This is a miracle,' said Rosemary Dillon, Jerele's niece, about the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency's (DPAA) accounting for Jerele's remains.

'We've been trying for about 10 years to positively identify his remains. It's been a long time coming. What a joyous occasion it will be when he is finally laid to rest in his home country.'

Dillon of Chicago said she was a young child when Jerele left for his military service, but remembers him as a quiet man who liked to sing and play guitar. She said it's 'a miracle' his remains have finally been identified.

'It's a great feeling to finally accomplish this identification,' Dillon said. 'I only wish my mother and grandmother were here to witness his homecoming.'

Jerele is from the small town of Berkeley, currently home to about 5,300 people, and was one of seven children born to Leopold Jerle and Mary Flori-Jerele on February 1, 1916.

Jerele is from the small town of Berkeley, currently home to about 5,300 people, and was one of seven children born to Leopold Jerle and Mary Flori-Jerele on February 1, 1916

Jerele is from the small town of Berkeley, currently home to about 5,300 people, and was one of seven children born to Leopold Jerle and Mary Flori-Jerele on February 1, 1916

He joined the military in September 1940 and served with Company B, 192nd Tank Battalion in the Philippines during the war, but was captured following the American surrender of the

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