The remains of a soldier from World War I have been identified and are coming home with full military honors – some 92 years after Pvt. Henry A. Weikel paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
The Defense Department’s POW/Missing Personnel Office made the announcement today. The news is not likely to make headlines across the nation. Perhaps there will be some ink given in Mt. Carmel, Penn., which was the 28-year-old’s hometown. But we at Outside the Wire commend the service of Weikel, and a military that works to ensure its fallen veterans are brought home.
Weikel was part of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, according to an Army release. On Sept. 16, 1918, his unit encountered heavy enemy artillery barrage and machine gun fire near Jaulny, France, in a wooded area known as Bois de Bonvaux. Weikel was killed and his remains buried with two other soldiers. Attempts to locate his remains by U.S. Army Graves Registration personnel following the war were unsuccessful.
In September 2006, French nationals hunting for metal in the area found human remains and World War I artifacts, the release said. A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team soon excavated the site and recovered Weikel’s remains.
He will be buried on Dec. 9 in Annville, Penn.