More than 74 years after his death during World War II, U.S. Army Private First Class William Frank Delaney is coming home to Kingston.
The 24-year-old soldier was killed November 22, 1944 by an artillery strike in Germany’s Hurtgen Forest. Delaney was one of hundreds of soldiers whose remains were unaccounted for. His remains were deemed unidentifiable after the war. It wasn’t until they were disinterred and analyzed in 2017 that the mystery of his identity unraveled. Delaney was officially accounted for in December.
Officials say more than 72,000 U.S. World War II service members remain unaccounted for.
Governor Bill Lee commented on the return of Delaney’s remains to his Tennessee home. “This young soldier’s bravery and sacrifice should always be remembered,” Lee said, “and I’m glad we can honor him and his family today.”
Lee declared Sunday, May 26, a day of mourning in commemoration of Delaney’s sacrifice.
Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Courtney Rogers expressed relief that Delaney’s remains would at last be laid to rest “in Tennessee, under a headstone with his name, in the same cemetery where his parents are laid to rest.”
“We extend our deepest condolences and support to his family and look forward to welcoming this Tennessee hero home,” Rogers added.
Delaney’s remains are due to return to McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville at 6:57 Eastern Time this evening.
Delaney, who is survived by several nieces and nephews, will be laid to rest Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day.
Funeral services will commence at 2 p.m. from Young’s Chapel at Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Kingston, with a graveside service to follow at Lawnville Cemetery.