World War II veteran's remains identified using DNA, returned to Beloit

robert mccarville ww2.jpg

BELOIT, Wis. - A World War II veteran, Sgt. John McCarville, returned to Beloit decades after he was shot and killed in action.

McCarville signed up to serve after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, according to his niece Maureen McCarville.

McCarville said she was told her grandmother and aunts were in the kitchen putting together a care package when a police officer and the military knocked on the door.

"What happened was when they were on the island they came upon a very well camouflaged nest of gunners, Japanese gunners, and got into a pretty ferocious fight and my uncle was one who got killed," McCarville said.

McCarville's remains were identified using DNA, which was something his loved ones never thought possible.

"What are the odds of him ever being able to be identified and bring him home?" McCarville said.

McCarville said she only knew her uncle by stories and a photo in her grandmother's house.

"It was always almost like a fairy tale. We had this uncle, and we had this picture, and we had these stories. Well now we actually have our uncle," McCarville said.

"For most veterans it's a closing point. It's closure for the family but even more with this wonderful program of finding remains and bringing back the unknowns, it's probably even more. I'm sure it means more," Marc Van Zandt, a veteran, said.

McCarville will be buried next to his parents at Mount Thabor Cemetery on Saturday.