CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — The remains of a World War II sergeant who was killed in the line of duty will be returned to West Virginia Thursday night.
The remains of Sgt. John Kalausich, of Charleston will arrive at Yeager Airport and will be greeted by family members, including his 89-year-old sister.
A funeral will be held for Kalausich on Saturday at the Christ Church United Methodist. He will be buried with full military honors at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) said Kalausich was accounted for on Dec. 13, 2018, nearly 74 years after he was killed.
The DPAA said Kalausich was a member of the 642nd Bombardment Squadron, 409th Bombardment Group, 9th Bombardment Division, and 9th Air Force.
On March 21, 1945, he was aboard an A-26B when the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and went missing during a combat mission from Couvron, France to Dülmen, Germany.
Kalausich and his crew were participating in the interdiction campaign to obstruct German troop movements in preparation for the allied crossing of the Rhine River on March 23, 1945, according to the DPAA.
In June 2016, a German researcher contacted DPAA historians about a crash site that he had found in Hülsten-Reken, Germany, that could possibly be linked to Kalausich’s aircraft.
Later that year multiple organizations excavated the crash site and recovered aircraft material, life support equipment, personal effects and possible osseous material.
To identify Kalausich’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used DNA analysis, dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, the DPAA said.