PORTLAND, Ore. — The remains of a World War II soldier who went missing in final weeks of the Guadalcanal campaign have been identified 76 years after he was listed as missing in action.
The Department of Defense says skeletal remains found in a bag recovered two years ago in the South Pacific are those of Pfc. Dale W. Ross, whose surviving family lives in Ashland, Oregon.
Officials believe remains of nearly half of the 83,000 unidentified service members killed in World War II and more recent wars could be identified and returned to relatives.
The remains and the dog tags were found by an 8-year-old boy in the jungle and his family gave them to a visiting American tourist, asking her to help find the soldier's surviving family.
The woman, Donna Esposito, found Ross' nephew and niece and the family gave the bones to the military for analysis.
The trio traveled to the Solomon Islands in 2017.