US soldier identified 76 years after his death
The remains of a World War II US soldier who went missing in the final weeks of the Guadalcanal campaign have been positively identified 76 years after he was listed as missing in action.
Skeletal remains recovered two years ago on the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific are those of Private Dale W Ross, who has surviving family in Ashland, Oregon.
Pte Ross, from North Dakota, was the third of four brothers who fought in World War II. Assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, he was listed as MIA on January 14, 1943, during the final weeks of the South Pacific battle. He was last seen in an area of fighting around a Japanese-held hilltop.
His brothers made it home, including the oldest, Charles, who served aboard a US Navy boat in the Solomon Islands and visited Guadalcanal in the vain attempt to learn about his brother's fate.
In 2017, researcher Emma Desposito met a local man who said his neighbour's son had found dog tags and remains believed to be those of an American soldier.
The tags included Pte Ross's name and hometown.
A Pentagon team on Guadalcanal was able to run tests that positively identified him for his nephew Dale Ross Jr and one of his nieces, Peggy Freitas.
"I feel incredibly happy to finally have this case solved," said Ms Desposito. "It was an honour to be involved in the repatriation of his remains."