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DPAA In The News

News 2 | April 22, 2024

Remains of Illinois soldier who died in Japanese prisoner-of-war camp during WWII identified

By By Jessica Ma, Chicago Sun-Times

After 81 years, a Chicago-area soldier who died during World War II can be laid to rest in his home state.

Military scientists have officially identified the remains of Harry Jerele of west suburban Berkeley, who died of pneumonia at age 26 in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines. He was accounted for last December, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Thursday.

Jerele’s niece Rosemarie Dillon, 88, who lives in Batavia, is his oldest surviving relative. She was “shocked” to learn his remains had been identified.

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