LOGANSPORT, Ind. — A solemn occasion Tuesday, as people lined the streets for a homecoming seven decades in the making.
In December of 1950, Sgt. Stanley Lee DeWitt was tending to his wounded comrades near the Chosin Reservoir in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
An article from the 1950 edition of the Pharos-Tribune states:
“During this period, elements of a field artillery battalion were attacked and surrounded by numerically superior enemy forces but Sgt. DeWitt performed his duties efficiently and courageously despite many handicaps.
With complete disregard for his own safety, he exposed himself repeatedly to render first aid to the wounded. While in full view of the enemy and exposed to small arms fire, he removed the wounded to a private house to protect them from the sub-zero weather.”
Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered and he was pronounced Missing In Action and presumed dead as of December 31, 1953.
68 years later, the North Koreans turned over 55 sets of remains of U.S. troops killed during the Korean War. One by one, the remains were analyzed using detailed DNA analysis and identified.
The 54th box was opened and the DNA analysis matched the remains to the DeWitt brother, officially accounting for Sgt. DeWitt on June 5, 2020.
On Tuesday, a Dignified Transfer of Remains Ceremony took place at the Indianapolis International Airport before his surviving family returned Sgt. DeWitt to his hometown of Logansport.
Along the route of U.S. 421, people stood vigil, waiting to see this homecoming.
In Logansport, on the final turn before the procession took Sgt. DeWitt to the Fisher Funeral Chapel, a small crowd gathered to see him off. Among the crowd was Denise Baker, representing the Kewanna James F Talbott VFW Post 1121.
Baker said it was nice to see a good turnout to return Sgt. DeWitt home.
“It shows a lot of patriotism and respect for our soldiers. They risked their lives for our country, and it’s nice to see that some people still honor our veterans and our fallen,” Baker said.
Sgt. DeWitt will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Medical Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal during a private family service.
A funeral service is planned for 2. p.m. Saturday at Fisher Funeral Chapel in Logansport with a public visitation from noon until 2 p.m. Sgt. DeWitt will be buried at the Royal Center Cemetery with full military honors.
The public is invited to line the procession route from the funeral home until the cemetery. The route will go through downtown Logansport via Chase Road to Michigan Avenue, heading south on 6th Street, west on Broadway to West Market Street before heading North on U.S. Highway 35.