Remains of WW II soldier return home after 73 years - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Remains of WW II soldier return home after 73 years

Sgt. Richard Gordon Sowell will receive full military honors. He will be buried at a family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery on Friday. (Source: WPBF/CNN) Sgt. Richard Gordon Sowell will receive full military honors. He will be buried at a family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery on Friday. (Source: WPBF/CNN)

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WPBF/CNN) -  It is a soldier's homecoming in south Florida 73 years in the making.

People at West Palm Beach airport gave a hero's welcome as the remains of Sgt. Richard Gordon Sowell, known to many as 'Tiny' Sowell, arrived on a Delta flight on Wednesday. 

Sowell was serving in World War II in 1944 when he was killed by a mortar on the Japanese island of Saipan. During the battle, authorities weren't  able to gather the 21-year-old's body. They later recovered several sets of remains, but couldn't make positive identifications. 

The remains were buried in numbered graves in Hawaii.  Earlier this year, a DNA match of Sowell's remains were confirmed through a relative.

"He kind of became legendary in our family. So the fact that he was brought home today is just really moving and quite an amazing experience for all of us. We're very proud of him,” said Wally Baldwin, a great uncle.

Sowell will receive full military honors. He will be buried at a family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery on Friday.

Copyright 2017 WPBF via CNN. All rights reserved. 

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