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Army Pvt. Laurel W. Ebert, was returned home and is to be buried next to his parents in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Blairstown on Friday, September 20.

As part of the Battle of Buna-Gona nearly 700 soldiers were killed. The battle was a two-month campaign on New Guinea between the middle of November in 1942 and mid-January 1943. There were 106 that were listed as MIA (Missing in Action) including Ebert.

Laurel W. Ebert was born in Marengo on November 24, 1914 to Eldo and Laura M.(Schultz) Ebert. At the time he went missing, he had five siblings, who are all now deceased. His brothers were Wayne and Donald Ebert, and three sisters, Esther (Stuckwisch), Adeline (Severine) and Lauretta (Niebes). 

He joined the Army and entered the service on December 31, 1941 at the age of 28. He was part of Company D, 81st Infantry Training Battallion. Leaving the states on April 19, 1941 he was part of Company I, 126 Infantry.

His family received his medals on June 12, 1973. He earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He is also memorialized at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Blairstown.

On November 26, 1942, Ebert was a member of Company I, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, serving as part of a nine-person patrol to find and silence an enemy machine gun position somewhere west of the Sanananda Track in the Cape Killerton area of the Australian Territory of Papua (present-day Papua New Guinea.) near Buna. Six members of the patrol, including Ebert, failed to return following the mission. He was subsequently listed as missing in action.

On July 8, 2019, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified the remains of Private Laurel W. Ebert, missing from World War II.

The agency said of Ebert, "Private Ebert, who joined the U.S. Army in Iowa, served with Company I, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division. On November 26, 1942, Private Ebert participated in a nine-person patrol dispatched to clear an enemy position west of the Sanananda Track near Cape Killerton, Papua (now Papua New Guinea). During this patrol, Private Ebert was killed. In 1943, he was interred as an unknown at a U.S. temporary cemetery in Sanananda, as his remains were unable to be individually identified at the time. In 1947, his remains were disinterred for additional analysis, but were declared unidentifiable and were interred at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. In 2017, analysts exhumed these remains and used modern forensic techniques to successfully identified them as those of Private Ebert."

Private Ebert is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.

The following names are those associated with Private Ebert's loss. 

AGENS, BERT HOWARDPFC6-Dec-42126thMichiganALBERT, RICHARD JPVT30-Nov-42126thMichiganANDERSON, MARLYN BPFC28-Nov-42126thWyomingBAINBRIDGE, JOHN ET/52-Dec-42128thWisconsinBARBER, WILLIAM RUSSELLPVT16-Dec-42126thIowa (Clinton Co.)BARGER, WALTER LPVT18-Jan-43  BEALLES, HARRY RT/416-Nov-42 IllinoisBENAK, FRANK VCPL5-Dec-42128thMichiganBERG, MARVIN ARTHURSGT9-Jan-43  BLAHOVEC, EMIL JPFC5-Dec-42126thMichiganBONO, ARTHURPVT5-Dec-42126thPennsylvaniaBRINKS, WILLARD HPFC22-Nov-42126thMichiganBROWN, JAMES HPVT16-Nov-42128thArkansasBROWN, WENDELL WPVT19-Dec-42126thIndianaBROWN, ALMAN DPVT20-Dec-42126thMichiganBROWN, ROYPVT2-Dec-42126thIowa (Scott Co.)BRUURSEMA, GEORGESGT6-Dec-42126thMichiganBUCKHANNON, JESS CPFC27-Nov-42126thMichiganBURNETT, OSCAR CT/41-Jan-43126thMichiganBURROWS, JAMES VCPL2-Dec-42126thMichiganBUSH, ADRIANS/SGT30-Nov-42126thMichiganCAGLE, CONNIEPVT22-Nov-42126thMichiganCARLSON, HAROLD HPFC1-Dec-42126thIowa (Emmittsburg)CAVANAUGH, PAUL JPVT5-Dec-42126thIowa (Calhoun Co.)CHAPMAN, ROBERT DPFC16-Nov-42  COBB, WILLIAM RSGT26-Nov-42126thMichiganCOUNTER, PETE MT/45-Dec-42126thMichiganDEVRIES, SIDNEYSGT23-Nov-42126thMichiganDEWITT, JAMES TPVT26-Nov-42126thVirginiaDICKINSON, MAURICE APVT30-Nov-42126thIowa (Waterloo)EBERT, LAUREL WPVT26-Nov-42126thIowa (Blairstown)EISEN, SAMPFC20-Dec-42127thMichiganEPSTEIN, HYMIE YPVT1-Dec-42126thNebraska (Omaha)FARRES, AGUSTIN V2D LT16-Nov-42  FIEVEZ, GEORGEPFC2-Dec-42126thMichiganFULLER, STEVE ES/SGT6-Dec-42126thMichiganFUNK, LLOYD WPVT4-Dec-42126thOhioGARCIA, AMBROSIOPVT16-Dec-42126thNew MexicoGOODWIN, JOHN RPVT16-Nov-42128thArkansasGORLEWSKI, STANLEY JPFC9-Jan-43 Montana?GREEN, GEORGEPVT16-Nov-42128thWisconsinGRUE, HERBERT APFC16-Nov-42 IllinoisGUESS, WILLIAM HPFC26-Nov-42126thIowa (Carroll Co.)HAMILTON, FRED CCPL5-Dec-42126thMichiganHENCKEL, PAUL TSGT5-Dec-42126thMichiganHERYNK, ROBERT JPVT26-Nov-42126thKansasHOLM, MERL WPFC26-Nov-42126thIowa (Lake City)HOLMES, HUGH MONROECPL7-Jan-43128thArkansas/WyomingHORGAN, FRED JPVT18-Dec-42128thWisconsinHOSMAN, GERALDPVT2-Dec-42126thMichiganHURD, HOWARD MT/516-Nov-42128thWisconsinKARBOWSKI, LEO AT/516-Nov-42128thWisconsinKERMAN, ALVYPFC16-Nov-42128thMichiganKILPATRICK, JAMES ASGT2-Dec-42126thMichiganKINTANAR, RESURRECION SSGT16-Nov-42 PhilippinesKRAMARZ, JOSEPH JS/SGT6-Dec-42126thMichiganKRAMER, EDWARD JPFC27-Dec-42126thMichiganLADNER, ANDREW JPVT30-Nov-42126thMISSLINCOLN, BOYD LSGT27-Dec-42126thMichiganLINGENFELSER, JOSEPH EPVT2-Dec-42126thMichiganLINSENBARDT, WILBERT GSGT5-Dec-42128thMissouriLOZANO, SELZOPVT20-Nov-42128thArizonaMCCARVILLE, ROBERT WPVT5-Dec-42128thWisconsinMCKENNY, LAURENCE ALTC16-Nov-42107TH QMMichiganMCMEEL, JOHNPVT6-Jan-43  MICKELSON, DONALD SSGT30-Nov-42128thWisconsinMILLER, NORMAN LPFC26-Nov-42126thMichiganMOLITOR, FRITZPVT20-Jan-43163rd, 41st IDTexasMONSTED, THOMAS OPVT9-Jan-43  MOORE, MATHISPFC2-Dec-42126thOklahomaMURPHY, ROBERT LPVT9-Jan-43  NEEL, CLAUDE FPVT5-Dec-42128thCaliforniaOMWEG, CHESTER DPFC20-Nov-42126thMichiganPADILLA, VICTORPVT26-Nov-42126thColoradoPFLEGER, FRANK LPFC20-Nov-42128thMissouriPITRE, FRANCISSGT30-Nov-42126thMichiganPRANKE, FREDERICK HT/516-Nov-42128thMichiganPUTT, JOHN CSGT16-Dec-42126thMichiganREICHERT, CARLPVT2-Dec-42126thColoradoRICO, RUDOLFO DPVT22-Nov-42126thCaliforniaROGERS, FRANK ACPL9-Jan-43  ROSS, ELBERT HPFC26-Dec-42126thIndianaRUPPRECHT, LEONARD GT/516-Nov-42128thWisconsinSCARROW, DALLAS RPVT26-Nov-42126thIowa (Aredale)SEPSEY, GEORGE FCPL26-Nov-42126thMichiganSHADE, ENOS HPFC2-Dec-42126thCaliforniaSIMANTZ, ELL TPFC19-Dec-42126thMichiganSIMMONS, OMER JPFC3-Jan-43126thKentuckySOUSLEY, ROBERTCPL30-Nov-42128thMichiganSPEIGL, WILLIAM EPVT21-Nov-42128thIllinoisSTATER, JOHN EPFC28-Nov-42128thIndianaSTROUD, CHARLES FPVT26-Nov-42126thIndianaSWORSKY, ANTHONY DPFC5-Dec-42126thMinnesotaTIREY, HENRY MCPL2-Dec-42126thMississippiTOPEL, RICHARD LPVT26-Nov-42126thOhioTORKA, JAMEST/521-Dec-42126thMichiganTROWBRIDGE, MELVIN EPVT1-Dec-42126thMichiganVAN DOMELEN, NORBERT GPFC23-Dec-42107TH QMWisconsinVANTIL, JOHN HPVT28-Nov-42126thMichiganVORENKAMP, ROBERT ECPL26-Nov-42126thMichiganWAYMAN, GEORGEPFC2-Dec-42126thIdahoWEBB, FRANCIS EPVT2-Dec-42126thIowa (Clinton Co.)WENDT, DELMARPFC10-Dec-42128thWisconsinWILES, VINCENT JPFC21-Nov-42128thWisconsinWILLIAMS, JAMES EPVT20-Nov-42128thOklahomaWITT, WILLIAM GPFC19-Dec-42126thMichigan

Official Obituary for Ebert:

Army Private Laurel William Ebert, age 28, was declared missing in action after leaving on a mission November 26, 1942, in the Australian Territory of Papua (present-day Papua New Guinea) during World War II and failing to return. His remains were accounted for on July 1, 2019, and will be laid to rest next to his parents in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Blairstown.

Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 20, 2019, at Grace Lutheran Church in Blairstown with Rev. Jeffrey A. Schanbacher officiating. Graveside services will immediately follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery with military rites conducted by the United States Army.

Laurel was born November 24, 1914, in Iowa, the son of Eldo Henry and Laura M. Schultz Ebert. He was a 1933 graduate of Blairstown High School.

Laurel served in Company I, 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division of the United States Army.

Those surviving Laurel include sister-in-law, Phyllis Ebert; and numerous nieces and nephews.

His siblings, Wayne and Donald Ebert, Esther Stuckwisch, Adeline Severine and Lauretta Niebes, are deceased.

Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the family of Laurel Ebert, an American hero. Condolences may be left at

Note: Normally I don't put comment through plugging another website. However in the comment below there is a link to a website dedicated to locating and reuniting the missing with their families click to go to the link.

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Comments (1)

“His Lord said to him, Well done, you good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:21.

Podcasts of NO HOME FOR HEROES - History's Military Mysteries: Missing In Action hosted by Chief Rick Stone are NOW available . Multiple FREE episodes are posted at and are also available on any other popular platform where you like to listen to podcasts or on the web site at

Welcome home,PVT Ebert! We share the joy of your family in your return! God Bless you and thanks to ALL who never forgot you and your service to our country!
By: Stone Foundation on September 8th 11:45pm

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