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27 Sep 06,, 14:24
WWI Soldier Buried at Arlington Cemetery

Sep 26, 5:44 PM (ET)


(AP) Rachel Kleisinger, center, accepts the American Flag at the military burial of her uncle, Pvt....
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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - The only testament to Francis Lupo's death in a World War I battle has long been his name, etched on a French chapel wall with those of hundreds of other missing soldiers.

On Tuesday, 88 years after he was killed, the recently discovered remains of the U.S. Army private were buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. And by year's end, his name will be carved anew, this time on a white headstone like those marking the graves of his fellow soldiers.

Lupo is the first World War I soldier whose remains - a few fragments of bone and teeth - were recovered and identified by the Pentagon's office for POW-MIA affairs, Pentagon spokesman Larry Greer said.

About 50 people, including two representatives of the French military, attended Tuesday's ceremony. Lupo's niece, 73-year-old Rachel Kleisinger of Florence, Ky., sat in a wheelchair as a traditional gun salute - seven rifles firing three rounds - sounded and an Army bugler played taps.

Then Kleisinger - who was born after Lupo's death but knew his mother - accepted the burial flag from a U.S. soldier.

The military added an Army dress uniform and Lupo's medals: A Purple Heart and the World War I Victory Medal. The victory medal had clasps for the battles he fought in - Mont Didier-Noyon, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne - before he died during an attack on German forces near Soissons, France, on July 21, 1918.

Lupo, from Cincinnati, was 23 when he was killed. A French archaeologist discovered his remains in 2003 while working on a conservation project.

It took the Army more than five months to find Kleisinger, Lupo's next of kin, and another six months to make funeral arrangements, Greer said.

Study of Lupo's remains, found with a fragment of a combat boot and a wallet embossed with his name, showed he stood about five feet tall. That is "very, very small for a soldier headed for combat," Greer said.

The fighting Lupo saw was some of the fiercest and most gruesome of the war. An anonymous extract from the diary of an officer in Lupo's unit, later reprinted in an Army history of the war, described the artillery and aerial attacks in stark terms: "Oh, how maddening are these horrible bloody sights! Can it be possible to reap such wholesale destruction and butchery in these few hours of conflict?"

Lupo was a member of Company E, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. His unit fought as part of a joint French-American attack on German forces near Soissons, in what became known as the Second Battle of the Marne. Army records say Lupo's brigade was advancing toward Chaudun, about 1.5 miles southeast of Ploisy, as the 1st Infantry's four-day attack began.

Of the 1st Infantry Division's 12,228 infantry officers and enlisted soldiers who fought in the Second Battle of the Marne, all but 3,923 were killed, wounded, taken prisoner or listed as missing, according to the Pentagon. Lupo was reported missing in action; available military records give no other details.

Lupo's name was memorialized on the list of missing soldiers inscribed on the walls of the memorial chapel at the Aisne-Marne American Military Cemetery near the village of Belleau, not far from where he was killed.

A total of 116,516 U.S. service members died in World War I; 53,402 are recorded as battle deaths, according to the Pentagon. The United States entered the war in April 1917; it ended in November 1918.

Repatriated Canuck
27 Sep 06,, 16:08
It's nice that he finally got home even if it did have to be a long wait.

27 Sep 06,, 16:14
Welcome home Pvt Lupo.

Officer of Engineers
27 Sep 06,, 16:46
Present Arms

27 Sep 06,, 17:32