The American soldier's remains went by the label CIL1993-312 for years after the body's return from North Korea.
Today Army Corporal Elmer Kidd of Seneca Falls will be given a funeral and a military burial now that the remains have been identified by DNA testing more than 60 years after his death.
Kidd died in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea in 1950, but it would be four years until the 26-year-old was declared killed in action, his niece, Linda Stuck, said.
"There were POW exchanges and whenever they did get someone back, they always interviewed them about men that were missing, and his name never came up," Stuck said Thursday as she and her mother, Alberta Stuck — Kidd's only surviving sibling in a family of 10 — prepared for the service.
Nearly 40 more years would pass before Kidd's remains were returned to the United States. They were among 208 boxes North Korea turned over in December 1993, but only recently identified using DNA testing that matched them to Alberta Stuck, now 80, and her son, Larry.
"That's when he went from that number to Corporal Elmer Kidd," Linda Stuck said.
Kidd enlisted in the Army in 1948. At the time of his death, he was serving in the heavy mortar company of the 32nd Regiment. His flag-draped casket was flown to Hancock Airport in Syracuse on Tuesday, and a U.S. Army detail and Patriot Guard riders accompanied the casket to a Seneca Falls funeral home. After today's funeral, his remains will be buried at nearby Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Romulus.
Linda Stuck said her mother could have Kidd buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but instead chose the Sampson Veteran's Memorial Cemetery overlooking Seneca Lake.