74 years later, a WWII veteran comes home

Local News

They waited and wondered for three-quarters of a century. Thursday — 74 years to the day later — family and loved ones held a funeral for their hero.

“Second Lieutenant Lynn Wilson Hadfield U.S Army Air Force died March 21, 1945.” The Utah Army National Guard chaplain made the pronouncement from the pulpit at the memorial service that was 74 years in the making.

“The A-26-B attack plane he piloted was shot down near Dolman, Germany, on a mission to disrupt German troop movements in preparation for the allies crossing of the Rhine River which took place three days later,” the eulogist declared.

Generations of descendants filled the mortuary chapel Thursday to say goodbye to someone they’d revered for years but never known.

“Grandfather, you’re home now,” a grandson said, in a halting voice, through tears.

On a hillside, overlooking the sweeping view of the Salt Lake and Utah valleys, the burial ceremony was held, at the Utah Veterans’ Memorial Cemetary. Full military honors were bestowed upon Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield.

The Utah man left behind a wife and family, the day he died, including a 2-year-old daughter. The little girl’s name was Mary Ann. Today, at the age of 76, Mary Ann Turner realized a childhood wish. She got to say goodbye to her dad. She recited poetry, as she delivered her eulogy.

“Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn, that the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.” Then, she turned to the flag-draped casket and said, “Welcome home, Dad.”

The event gave generations of descendants a chance to say goodbye.

“This is about as close to a miracle as it gets, for us,” grandson Collin Turner told ABC4.com. “I always thought that there was some chance of bringing him home, but a promise you make as a teenager is one thing, reality is another.”

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