Korean War vet’s remains finally coming home
La Center - After 61 years of waiting, the family of U.S. Army Sergeant William Franklin Day will finally be able to lay its loved one to rest. The remains of the long lost Korean War veteran will be brought home to La Center within the next few weeks.
Sgt. Day is not an unfamiliar name around Ballard County. In fact, his name is etched in the monument in front of the high school that is dedicated to those individuals from Ballard County who fought and died for this country. Each year at the Veterans’ Day program at Ballard Memorial High School, a student announces Day as being among those listed as Missing in Action. His picture is displayed on the big screen, and a candle is lit in his honor.
During next years’ Veterans’ program, the title “MIA” will have to be taken off of the screen as Day is no longer missing thanks to a DNA test performed a few years ago. At that time, Day’s daughter Gloria and his brother Herman, both gave DNA samples to the military. The samples were used to go through thousands of remains of which the U.S. government had yet to be able to identify.
Sgt. Day enlisted in the Army in 1946. Day and his brother, Herman, both served in the Korean War. In December of 1950, Day was declared as Missing in Action and was declared Dead in Action three years later.
Day’s remains had been found in a mass grave that contained close to 200 individuals. They were then shipped to Hawaii in 1993 where they sat unidentified until the two family members had their DNA samples taken.
A full military burial will be given to Day in early April. He will then be buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Ballard County.