WWII soldier in Athens, unidentified for decades, gets his final resting place

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ATHENS, Texas (KETK) – The remains of an Athens man, who went unidentified for decades after he was killed in World War II, finally have a place to rest at a military cemetery in the ‘Arkansas.

According to the Army, during World War II, Private John P. Cooper’s tank was hit by an enemy rocket in Germany. He was presumed dead in 1946 and declared irrecoverable in 1951.

His unidentified remains were buried in the American Cemetery in Luxembourg, but they were exhumed in 2021.

Cooper’s remains were later identified by the Department of Defense a few months later.

“I got a phone call a few months ago and (they) said he was identified through your DNA with one of the other cousins. And, we’re here, so he’s at home. home,” said Mike Chestnut, Cooper’s nephew.

Cooper’s name is on the walls of the missing at the Lorraine American Cemetery in France – along with other heroes still missing from World War II. From now on, a rosette will be placed next to their name to show that they have been taken into account.

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