DELRAY BEACH (CBSMiami) – The remains of an American soldier, who fought in World War II, have been identified and brought back for a proper burial.
On June 15, 1944, Army Pfc. Bernard Gavrin was fighting with his troop for control of the Mariana Islands as part of an allied strategic goal. In the thick of the battle, the enemy forces conducted a suicide assault that killed or injured more than 900 soldiers.
Less than a month later, Gavrin was reported missing in action.
The American Graves Registration Services reviewed the circumstances of Gavrin’s loss in 1948, but they concluded his remains were not recoverable.
A glimmer of hope came about in September of 2013 when Japanese organizations, working with private archaeological company, recovered human remains and personal belongs of American soldiers. They turned the remains over to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.
After scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory reviewed the evidence and used forensic tools, they were able to match Gavrin to his nephew, David Rogers.
The 82-years-old Rogers, who lives in Delray Beach, is Gavrin’s oldest living relative.
He was floored when he heard the news of his uncle.
“I was shocked. I hadn’t heard his name or known anything about him for these many, many years,” said Rogers.
The last time Rogers saw his uncle, he was 8-years old. Rogers remembers he got stitches that day from an injury, so he went to his room to rest.
“He awakened me and kissed me on the forehead,” Rogers recalled.
One thing that Rogers says he will never forget is the day his family received the letter of Gavrin’s disappearance.
“She (Gavrin’s mother) let out a scream that lives with me to this day,” he said.
Nearly 70 years later, Rogers is relieved that his uncle can receive a proper burial.
Rogers said he will attend the burial ceremony on Friday, Sept. 12th.
“He will be buried in the most hallowed ground in this country. There is no doubt to how proud I am,” said Rogers.
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