WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It’s a reunion seven decades in the making. A Kansas soldier is back in the Sunflower State years after he was killed in combat in Germany.
“Excited” isn’t usually a word people use when a loved one passes, but that’s the emotion the Dorsey family felt when they were reunited with a family member’s remains 70 years after he was lost in battle.
“It’s overwhelming,” Jerry Dorsey, nephew of the fallen soldier, said. “Just to know that we have finally have some closure. It’s exciting.”
“We always wondered why and where he had passed away,” Jerry said, “what happened in the battle, which battle he was in.”
Private Carl Dorsey was a soldier in the Hurricane Force Battle in Germany near the Belgian border in 1944.
Carl was declared missing in action on Dec. 5.
“He was part of a team that was stabilizing a particular point, and they got overrun by a German task force that went in and rushed him,” Jerry said.
Carl’s remains wouldn’t be found until May 1946 — five months after he was declared dead.
“From the story we got, there was a German resident there that had found his body off the side of the road,” Jerry said. “He took the remains and buried him.”
Carl’s remains were placed in a grave for unidentified American soldiers in Germany in 1950.
In 2021, a historian studying unresolved American loss in the area where Carl lost his life had one last set of unidentified remains — possibly belonging to the fallen soldier.
The remains were flown to Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base, where DNA from the family was collected and confirmed it was Carl.
“It’s overwhelming,” Jerry said. “It’s totally amazing how much the United States military goes to find the family member.”
The long-awaited funeral service with full military honors for Carl is on Sept. 3. He’ll be buried in Grenola, Kansas, next to his mother and father.