Long-lost WWI soldier found and returned home
Metal-detector hobbyist finds 1st Sgt. George Humphrey in the foothills of France
On Sept. 15, 1918, with World War I nearing an end, United States Marine George Henry Humphrey was killed by a machine gun bullet through his helmet.
Pinned down by the Germans, George's fellow soldiers hastily buried him in the woods of rural northern France.
They drew a map and later tried to explain the location to George's family, but the grave could not be found.
Until now. A hobbyist with a metal detector made the discovery last fall.
On Wednesday, George Humphrey will be reburied at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. He had family roots in Wisconsin, and a couple of his relatives from our state will be present when he is lowered into his final, final resting place.
"You'd think after 92 years he'd never be found. It tells people don't give up. There's always hope for families," said John Humphrey of Oconomowoc.
John, a retired farmer, would be George's first cousin once removed. He was born two years after George died, making him 90 now. Because of health concerns, he is not making the trip to Arlington this week.
But his two sisters are going at government expense. That would be Helen Neitzel, 77, of Horicon and Frances Richter, 83, of Watertown.
Helen said she was astounded when she got the news, though she and John admit they didn't know much about George Humphrey or his sad and mysterious end. John thought maybe it was an identity scam when he first was notified...