Family gets veteran's belongings back - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Family gets veteran's belongings back

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“We couldn’t believe, it was just astounding to us,” said JT Carneal. “We couldn’t believe, it was just astounding to us,” said JT Carneal.
Evidence leads investigators to believe Carneal was a victim of a Japanese suicide soldier. Evidence leads investigators to believe Carneal was a victim of a Japanese suicide soldier.
A class ring, a pocket knife, dog tags are just a few of the pieces and memories. A class ring, a pocket knife, dog tags are just a few of the pieces and memories.
REIDLAND, KY (KFVS) - Decades after their relative went missing an action, one Heartland family is now getting answers and memories.

“We were astounded when this came in, what condition it’s in after all these years,” said JT Carneal.

A class ring, a pocket knife, dog tags are just a few of the pieces and memories of Private First Class William T. Carneal.

“We couldn’t believe, it was just astounding to us,” said JT Carneal.

After almost 70 years, JT Carneal and his family got the answers they had been looking for. He and his sister only knew their uncle as the soldier who went missing in action in World War II.

“Whenever I would hear of service men being found I thought there’s still hope, there’s still hope,” said Mary Christian, William T. Carneal’s niece.

“These are pictures of the Japanese that found his remains,” said Carneal.

A non-profit group discovered Carneal’s remains, and personal belongings, buried on an island off of what used to be known as Saipan.

Evidence leads investigators to believe Carneal was a victim of a Japanese suicide soldier.

“That’s hard to know that’s the way he passed away,” said Carneal.

“Well it’s very emotional,” said Christian.

“But it is helpful to us to close it,” said Carneal.

Now as part of that closure, the Carneal family is going through their uncle’s belongings.

“When we got his things back, seeing them was kind of a roller coaster,” said Christian.

“They found his class ring of heath high school 1939,” said Carneal.

“All of this really choked me up, to see that heath high school ring, I can’t tell you how that felt to know that that education as so important to him,” said Sandy Hart.

Hart is the coordinator at the Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum in Wickliffe, Ky.

The Carneal family plans to donate an artifact to the museum.

“We do have artifacts, we do have memorabilia, but they’re stories, as long as I keep telling their stories, they’re never really gone,” said Hart.

A story that JT Carneal said he’s amazed at how many people are interested in hearing.

“Shows the patriotism of this area,” said Carneal.

The Carneal family said they plan to hold a funeral and burial in April.
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