ZANESVILLE, Ohio- A Zanesville World War Two soldier had his funeral procession over 70 years after he was killed in action.
Sergeant Harold Burton Davis’s funeral procession went through the streets of downtown Zanesville. Motorcycles, police, and the Davis family drove along with the hearse. Davis died in a plane crash, in New Guinea, on February 1, 1944. He and ten others were killed, but the remains weren’t discovered for 19 years. Even though Davis was found back in 1963, individual identification wasn’t possible. Davis’s Nephew,Dick Waite, said years later the Army asked the family for DNA. The army was able to identify Davis by a rib that was recovered. Davis’s niece, Dixie Deal, said the whole family being together is wonderful even though she wishes it wasn’t because of a death.
“Isn’t it terrible to have a funeral to get to see everybody that you haven’t seen for years”, said Deal. “Some of them I didn’t even recognize. Still, Harold brought us together. ”
Davis was flown back to Ohio on Thursday. Davis’s Nephew’s wife, Carolyn Waite, said she was taken aback by all the support the family received when they were at the airport.
“Thursday was something I wasn’t ready for,” said Waite. “It developed into more than I could ever imagine. It was a tear-jerking day. We certainly enjoyed it. It was sad and happy too, but it was a good thing.”
Davis is survived by his nephew Richard Waite; Nieces Dixie Deal, and Kelly Roberts, all of Zanesville.