A Korean War soldier with local ties will be welcomed home and laid to rest this week after spending 67 years buried in Korea and Hawaii as an unknown soldier.
Cpl. Roy John Hopper was killed in action in Korea on July 31, 1950. according to an obituary with Newcomer's Funeral Home.
Killed in an ambush less than a month before his 22nd birthday, he was initially buried in Korea before being interred in Hawaii.
On Wednesday, April 4, Roy’s remains will be escorted from Honolulu, Hawaii to Dayton, by his great nephew, Sgt. Christopher “Ryan” Reynolds. There will be a procession from the airport to Newcomer Funeral Home that day.
A public viewing will be held 5-8 p.m. April 5 at Newcomer Funeral Home, 3940 Kettering Blvd., Kettering. The funeral will be held at 11:30 a.m. April 6 at Newcomer with burial with full military honors at Dayton National Cemetery to follow.
It was only after decades of efforts that the U.S. Army was finally able to fully identify Hopper’s body.
“The Army continued to use all the technology at their disposal through the years, to ensure that he would one day be reunited with his family and be buried with them in attendance,” the obit says. “In June of 2017 they were finally able to identify his remains using a new DNA process.”
According to the American Battle Monuments Commission, Hopper was a member of "Headquarters Co., 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was killed in action while fighting the enemy in South Korea on July 31, 1950.
“His remains were not recovered at the time,” the commission said. “Through the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the remains of Cpl. Hopper were accounted for in 2017. His name remains permanently inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.”