It has been nearly 74 years since Army Sgt. Melvin Anderson of Omaha lost his life in World War II. Now, Anderson is coming home. His remains were accounted for in April, 2018. His burial is scheduled Friday afternoon at 1:00 at the Omaha National Cemetary.
The service will include a full military Active Duty Honors team from Ft. Riley, Kansas that will include a rifle salute and the playing of Taps. The public is welcome to attend and pay their respects to Anderson.
In November 1944, Sgt. Anderson was a member of Company C, 803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, participating in intense fighting in the Hürtgen Forest. His company was deployed as direct fire support for American infantrymen attacking the town of Grosshau.
During the fighting, two tank destroyers and six tanks, including the M10 tank destroyer Anderson was the tank commander on, were knocked out around Grosshau on Nov. 25, 1944. He was killed during the battle, though his status was initially listed as missing in action. On Dec. 21, 1944, his status was amended to Killed in Action.
Anderson was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals.
To identify Anderson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondria DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. There are currently 72,910 service members still unaccounted for from World War II.