After 75 years, body of 82nd Airborne WWII soldier returns home

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PFC Clifford Mills from Troy, Indiana was killed after a 319th, 82nd Airborne Division Artillery Glider crashed behind enemy lines near Wyler, Germany. After 75 years, his body was returned home. (Credit: 82nd Airborne Division)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) -- The body of an 82nd Airborne soldier has finally come home 75 years after his passing.

PFC Clifford Mills from Troy, Indiana was killed after a 319th, 82nd Airborne Division Artillery Glider crashed behind enemy lines near Wyler, Germany on September 18, 1944.

The efforts to find Mills’ body started 12 years ago in the Netherlands. Nowy van Hedel, a Dutch man, adopted PFC Mills and committed to getting results. Hedel even kept a photo of Mills in his living room as a reminder of the sacrifice that was made during World War II, according to Fort Bragg.

Hedel received a call in January from the Mills family informing him the soldier’s body was returning home. App users click here.

A memorial service was held. Representatives from three 82nd Airborne Division Field Artillery Battalions carried PFC Mills the last few yards to his final resting place, next to his wife.

There are still more than 70,000 WWII Americans missing in action.