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Combat-killed World War II soldier from Arkansas returns home after his remains are discovered



Conway, Arkansas – At last, the World War II remains of an Arkansas soldier are returned home. The veteran of the US Army Air Forces had to go 170 miles before being welcomed as a hero.

Roller-McNutt Funeral Home won second place. The Army accompanied Lt. Kenyon Brindley from the Memphis Airport to Conway. Lt. Brindley was stationed in the European Theater with the 8th Air Force’s 703rd Bombardment Squadron, part of the 445th Bombardment Group.

He died terribly on February 24, 1944, above Gotha, Germany, when his B-24J Liberator was struck by intense anti-aircraft fire. Brindley and numerous other crew members did not survive the tragedy, despite Brindley’s courageous attempts and those of his fellow crew members, according to a news statement issued by Roller-McNutt Funeral Home.

According to Randy Crownover of the Arkansas Patriot Guard Riders, Brindley was escorted from Dave Ward Drive to the Conway funeral home. Being a small part of Brindley’s well-earned return home with a procession, he added, was meaningful.

“The family finally has their loved one home and don’t have to wonder where his remains were,” Crownover said.

Brindley was only 23 when he was killed in action, according to Crownover.

One crew member’s remains were found by German forces after the accident, but Lt. Brindley and the other six were never found after the war. Unidentified remains thought to be from Lt. Brindley’s downed aircraft were taken into the care of the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) in March 1952. These bones were buried in the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium until the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) excavated them and used careful study and DNA testing to identify them.

Along with other gallant warriors who are still unaccounted for from World War II, Lt. Brindley’s name is currently listed on the Tablets of the Missing in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Hombourg, Belgium. A rosette, signifying closure and remembering, will be placed next to his name in acknowledgment that he has been found.

The accounting of U.S. Army Air Force 2nd Lt. Kenyon Brindley, who was reported missing in action during World War II, was just made public by the DPAA. The remains of Lt. Brindley were identified on September 21, 2023.

Crownover thinks they were able to pay tribute to his family’s sacrifice and preserve his memory.

“Many, many, have not come home and the identifying agency is working when they find the remains to identify them and get them to their families,” Crownover said.

For a generation he looks up to, Crownover said that Brindley’s procession comes close to the top of his experiences as a Patriot Guard Rider.

“You can use the word greatest generation, but they went and they did their job. Some of them didn’t come back,” he said.

When the funeral service for the World War II soldier is set for Monday, Crownover announced that they would be organizing another parade in honor of Lt. Brindley.


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