Remains of missing World War II soldier returned to Illinois

By Daniel Uria  |  Oct. 25, 2017 at 8:00 PM
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Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The remains of a missing World War II soldier who took part in the D-Day invasion were returned to his home in Illinois on Wednesday.

Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello's remains were returned to Springfield where a funeral service with military honors was scheduled to be held 73 years after he died and was listed as missing in action during World War II. His remains were flown in to St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Wednesday and escorted by first responders and military groups up Interstate 55 to his home in Springfield.

Aiello was born in St. Louis in 1909 and eventually moved to Springfield where he worked as a coal miner and restaurateur. He joined the Army in 1942 and he became part of a glider unit that was involved in the D-Day invasion.

In 1944, he was assigned to Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands where glider and airborne troops were tasked with seizing bridges in the Netherlands to hold them from the Germans until British units arrived.

Aiello, who was 35 at the time, and many others died. Their unidentified remains were buried at a military cemetery in Belgium.

Eight years ago, the military disinterred a set of remains, which were later identified as Aiello's.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and will be buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery on Saturday.

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