EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — An area World War II Veteran, originally from Scranton has properly been laid to rest.
Private First Class (PFC) Francis Martin served as an Army Infantry Soldier after enlisting in 1942. During the war in 1945, PFC Martin was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 157th Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division. On January 16, Martin was on a truck convoy bringing rations to the front lines, when the convoy was ambushed and surrounded by German soldiers.
A few men escaped, however, Martin was not one of them. Over the next couple of days, the German soldiers completely surrounded the 157th forces, preventing U.S. soldiers from searching for Martin or recovering his body, officials say.
As there was no evidence of Martin being captured in German records, surviving the ambush, or that he was held as a POW, the War Department declared him dead one year later on January 17, 1946.
Martin’s remains were among 37 unidentified sets of American remains found in 1947 buried in Belgium. His remains weren’t sent to the U.S. until the summer of 2021 when DNA and other tests proved it was indeed the soldier from Scranton.
A funeral service for Private Martin was held early Friday morning at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel in Virginia, followed by a burial with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery.