- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

La Center, Ky. (AP) - Army Cpl. William F. Day was reported missing in North Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. Nearly 64 years later, his remains have been brought home to Kentucky.

The Paducah Sun reports (http://bit.ly/1otTmkg) Day’s daughter, Gloria Shonrock, was only four years old when her father went missing. Although her mother rarely talked about Day, Shonrock still felt his absence.

“I’d sit at the recess and cry because I wanted my daddy, and, you know, you grow out of that, but you still want your dad,” she said.

She began searching in earnest for information about Day in 1992. His remains were eventually found among boxes of remains given to the U.S. by North Korea in the early 1990s.

The Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office said they were given 208 boxes believed to contain remains of 350 to 400 U.S. servicemen. The remains were heavily co-mingled, which made identification difficult. DNA provided by Shonrock and her father’s niece helped with the identification.

“It’s been hell sometimes, and good other times,” Shonrock said of the long process. “And then it’s been hell again because you have to deal with the government, and you sit there and hurry up and wait.”

Although the search was difficult, an unexpected benefit was that military officials helped Shonrock connect with relatives on her father’s side of the family.

“I had an aunt in Washington, and I had this aunt and uncle here in Kentucky,” Shonrock said. “And I’ve been here many times to see them.”

Day’s remains were flown to Nashville on Wednesday, where Shonrock, her husband and other family members met them and accompanied them to La Center. They were accompanied by two military liaisons and escorted by Patriot Guard Riders, Shonrock said. Then they were welcomed into Ballard County with an escort of fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles.

Day will be buried next to his mother on Monday in a service with full military honors. Before the funeral, a memorial service will be held at Ballard High School, where Day’s name is among those listed on a veterans monument.

According to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, Day was assigned to Company C, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 31st Regimental Combat Team in November 1950, deployed east of North Korea’s Chosin Reservoir, where it was engaged by “overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces.”

“Personally it’s a closure that I don’t have to worry about where he’s at anymore,” Shonrock said.

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Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com

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