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    Remains of World War II Soldier to be buried in Forest Park, Illinois



    Story by Fonda Bock 

    U.S. Army Human Resources Command

    FORT KNOX, Ky. – The remains of U.S. Army Air Forces Sgt. Willard S. Kendall, a Soldier killed during World War II, were interred Sept. 16 at Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois. Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home, North Riverside, Illinois, will perform graveside services preceding the interment.

    A native of Chicago, Kendall was a tail gunner assigned to the 32d Bombardment Squadron, 301st Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force. He was serving aboard a B-17G Flying Fortress Feb. 25, 1944, when it was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire after a bombing raid on the Prufening aircraft factory in Regensburg, Germany. Eight of the nine crewmembers bailed safely before the plane exploded and crashed northwest of Krakaudorf, Austria. Multiple crewmen reported that Kendall died at his tail gunner position when the plane crashed. He was 23 years old.

    After reviewing local records and eyewitness statements in September 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency felt there was sufficient evidence to link remains designated Unknown X-6853 and buried at Rhône American Cemetery in Draguignan, France, to Kendall. Two years later, the remains were disinterred and sent to a DPAA Laboratory for analysis.

    Kendall was accounted for by the DPAA April 13, 2023 after his remains were identified using anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

    His name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at Florence American Cemetery in Firenze, Italy, along with others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

    For additional information about Sgt. Kendall, go to:

    To learn more about the Department of Defense’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at,, or call 703-699-1420/1169.




    Date Taken: 09.18.2023
    Date Posted: 09.18.2023 10:08
    Story ID: 453649
    Location: FORT KNOX, KY, US 

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