BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — A local WWII veteran returned home to Bridgeport, Ohio, on September 23, after he had been killed in action decades ago.
U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Charles G. Reynolds was captured in New Guinea during WWII when his plane was shot down.
After being tortured by the Japanese his body was found in New Guinea and he was buried in a national cemetery in the Philippines.
DNA tests were conducted on soldiers like Reynolds who couldn’t be identified to determine where and how they could get them home.
Today, 1st Lt. Reynolds was laid to rest next to two of his closest relatives.
“They found his body. It’s been 80 years in November since he came home to rest with his family. He’s buried next to his mother and dad there.”Jerry Fiutem | General Manager |Wilson Funeral Home
Bringing Lieutenant Reynolds home is something that is cherished by the community of Bridgeport and his relatives who are still alive.
“It means a lot to the village of Bridgeport, and it belongs a lot to the family. There’s not a whole lot of family left. Always, brothers and sisters are deceased, and a lot of the nieces and nephews. There’s only three or four of them left. And great nieces and nephews. But it makes them feel like he’s at home now. He’s back where he should be.”Jerry Fiutem | General Manager |Wilson Funeral Home
The Ohio State Patrol, several police, fire, and sheriff departments, as well as motorcycle veterans from surrounding communities, helped in making a beautiful memorial service to bring Lieutenant Reynolds home peacefully.
“Everyone stepped, did over and above what they should have. They really went out of overboard to help him get back home and be with his family. It gives them peace of mind that their loved one is home, and it rests now with the rest of the family.”Jerry Fiutem | General Manager |Wilson Funeral Home