Remains of WWII Wisconsin Army pilot finally brought home

CREATED Oct. 12, 2012

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  • Todd Hicks reports Video by wtmj.com

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GREEN BAY- The remains of Army pilot Lt. James Des Jardins are back home Friday night after an absence of 68 years.  Des Jardins was shot down by German bombers while he completed a run. The Wisconsin man's body or his plane were never found.

Des Jardins whereabouts remained a mystery until the Des Jardin family received an email from the Mayor of Einhausen, Germany.  Officials wrote a pond had been dredged when they found remains of the pilot and his plane.

Des Jardin's nephew contacted government officials to begin the process to verify the pilots identity. "I gave DNA and the JPAC lab confirmed that there was a positive identification," said John Des Jardin.

Friday, the Appleton man brought the remains of his uncle back to Wisconsin. Des Jardin's remains were carried on the trip to Milwaukee from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. They were then escorted more than 139 miles with the help of the Patriot Riders to their final destination in Green Bay.

A memorial service for Lt. James Des Jardin is planned for Sunday.