Remains of WWII Marine arriving in Bakersfield after being identified with DNA


A Marine lost to war decades ago is returning to his family in Bakersfield.

Sgt. William D. Ball Jr. was wounded in November 1943 in the Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific during World War II. He went missing and was presumed killed in action.

Craig Donor of the Patriot Guard Riders said Ball's remains were interred with a group of unknowns in Hawaii before they were recently identified through DNA.

Thursday evening, Ball's remains will be escorted to Bakersfield from Los Angeles International Airport. The Patriot Guard Riders will travel with his remains to Frazier Park, where the Bakersfield Freedom Riders will take over the escort.

Larry Gillette of the Bakersfield Freedom Riders said a public memorial will be held at 10:45 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20, at Bakersfield National Cemetery.

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