Remains of WWII veterans moved after abandonment - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Remains of WWII veterans moved after abandonment

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Dale LeMond Dale LeMond

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After years of being in an abandoned cemetery, the remains of two men have been honorably transported to a much better home.

For years, many cremated remains have been sitting in the archeology building at the University of Louisville with no knowledge of who the people were. After a lot of research and time it was discovered two of those remains were veterans from the greatest generation.

"We've been riding on the shoulders of these veterans for years, and we owe them," Dale LeMond with Missing in America Project said.

They endured the horrors of World War II and then faced a different horror after they were buried. Abandoned and constantly vandalized Eastern Cemetery was often lined with holes and clumps of mud where vandals dug up ornate boxes, and left the remains.

With no traceable family all that is known of these two veterans are their names. However, their service to this country will not be forgotten.

"The Missing in America Project is involved in identifying the veterans that their remains are here, some were unclaimed by family members others are just abandoned by the cemetery," LeMond said

The remains of these two brave men sat in mystery at the UofL archeology building until their history and their service finally came to light.

"One of them was in the army air corp. and he has an Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters," said LeMond, "which I think basically means that he was in an aircraft during battle."

That airman was Russell Phillips. The other veteran was Charles Smith, another Army vet. Questions still linger about how the two died and when.

The remains were taken to Owen Funeral Home on Dixie Highway. The men will later be buried at Radcliff Veterans Cemetery once a ceremony date has been scheduled.

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