It's a day his family thought would never come, but it did and it was a return with full military honors for Lt. Vernal Bird.
Bird was the pilot of his plane on March 12, 1944. His mission was to bomb a Japanese base, but he and his aircraft gunner were never heard from again.
In 2001, excavation crews were uncovering another downed U.S. plane when they stumbled on Bird's plane. They were able to identify him through DNA his sister provided to the military about seven years ago.
"Just marvelous, it touches our hearts now that we finally get to bury him and find out actually what happened to him," says Vernal Jeppson, Bird’s nephew.
A memorial service will be held Saturday and he will be buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Springville.