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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A memorial service was held today for a World War II soldier for Minnesota who was killed in action in 1943.

According to the US Department of Defense Donald Duchene of St. Paul was 19 years old and was serving on the crew of a B-24 Liberator bomber when it was hit by antiaircraft fire and crashed in eastern Europe on August 1, 1943. Duchene was a member of the 344th Bombardment Squadron, 98 Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force, and was participating in Operation TIDAL WAVE, which was a major bombing mission targeting oilfields and refineries in Romania.

photo supplied by Department of Defense
photo supplied by Department of Defense

A news release says his remains were not identified following World War II and were buried with other unknowns in the Hero Section of the Civilian and Military Cemetery in the area of Romania where his aircraft was shot down. The remains were later moved for permanent internment at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgian.

In 2017, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed the remains and began using modern forensic testing in hopes of identifying the deceased service members. Duchene's remains were positively identified in July and were finally returned to his family in Minnesota last Friday.

Today’s memorial service was held at a funeral home in Shoreview and was followed by an internment ceremony at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. According to the obituary posted by the Holcomb-Henry-Boom-Purcell Funeral Home, Duchene is survived by his sister, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives.


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TRIBUTE: 29 U.S. Service Members From Minnesota Killed During the War in Afghanistan

After 20 years of war, 29 men and women from Minnesota made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan while serving our country during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Scroll through the photos below and pay tribute to our fellow Minnesotans who served with valor.

The information below comes from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

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