Remains of World War II Vet declared MIA possibly identifed

By KBJR News 1

January 24, 2014 Updated Jan 24, 2014 at 7:37 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A-95-year old World War II Veteran from Virginia is anxiously awaiting word if remains buried overseas may be those of his brother, declared missing in action nearly 70 years ago.

Paul Sersha said goodbye to his brother John in 1944, before John was shipped out to war.

He didn't know it would be the last time they ever spoke.

"He says, 'Paul,' he says, 'I don't think I'll ever see you again.' But I says, 'don't say that,' I said. But he had a premonition that something would... and that was it. I've never seen him since," said Paul Sersha, John's brother.

John was declared missing in action, while serving in World War II.

"I did expect that maybe he was just missing for that short time and that he'd be captured or whatever and that everything was going to be okay. But things didn't turn out that way," said Paul.

It was later revealed that John died during battle in 1944.

Dick Lohry, John's nephew, says he always felt close to the uncle he never really knew, and was always curious about his uncle's life.

"I've always felt close to him," said Lohry.

In 2006, Lohry was shocked to hear that friends of his who had traveled to the Netherlands in 1990 had captured a photo of his uncle John's name on a 'Wall of Remembrance,'.

It renewed his interest in his uncles past.

"That really got it going again."

Then this past November, Lohry received a call from a German man saying John's remains were likely buried in Belgium.

The family was never notified so many years ago because then they needed a 100% ID before notifying a family of a fatality.

Paul and Dick recently submitted their DNA to officials examining the remains, with the hopes of finding a match.

"It'd feel that I... that he's coming home. That's the way I feel it. Cause up to then I was thinking, where is he and what's happening, and this way I felt that I'm closer to home," said Paul.

The two are anxiously awaiting the results, hoping to bring closure to a life lost but never forgotten.

The family says the DNA results could take anywhere from a few months up to a year to get back.

Elsa Robins
erobins@kbjr.com

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.