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Remains of World War II POW return home to Missouri 75 years later

A Missouri World War II veteran's final ride home brings peace to his 96-year-old twin sister.It's peace she d...

Posted: May 3, 2018 4:37 PM
Updated: May 3, 2018 4:37 PM

A Missouri World War II veteran's final ride home brings peace to his 96-year-old twin sister.

It's peace she didn't expect to get.

"It touched me. It just touches my soul because he's home," said his great-niece Tammy Kissinger.

Skyzoom 4 was above as Kissinger waited on the ground for Army Private First Class Billy Ray Ball to arrive at St. Louis Lambert Airport.

"It is an honor. It's amazing to have him home. It's the story my grandma has always told," added Kissinger.

Kassinger told her grandmother, PFC Ball's twin sister, the Army now knows the soldier was attacked by Japanese forces in 1941.

"Whenever I told her, she just lit up and has been glowing ever since she has known he was coming home," added Kissinger.

Records state in late 1942 he died from disease. Ball's remains were found in a mass grave in 2016.

"The time they took, to be so specific in finding him to do the DNA and bring him back, is amazing," added Kissinger.

Seventy-five years have passed since the soldier left his home in Matthews, Mo.

"It just gives me chills. I am so overwhelmed and honored he's home and my grandma can have peace," added Kissinger.

The soldier's family chose Jefferson Barracks as his final resting place. On Friday, the family will be in the soldier's presence one last time which his great-niece considers bittersweet for her grandmother.

"She hates to know the way died. But, then it is so sweet because he's home," added Kissinger.

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