Town to honor soldier killed in World War II

2014-08-08T09:40:00Z 2014-08-11T06:48:11Z Town to honor soldier killed in World War IIBy LILLIAN SCHROCK Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
August 08, 2014 9:40 am  • 

CASPER, Wyo. — The remains of an American soldier killed during World War II, buried for more than 70 years in an unknown grave in France, will be escorted on Sunday through Casper, where the fallen solider lived before enlistment.

The recently identified remains of Army Pfc. Lawrence Samuel Gordon will be escorted by local law enforcement and the Patriot Guard Riders of Wyoming. The route will end at a ranch on Poison Spider Road where Gordon worked as a ranch hand in the 1940s.

“I was named after my uncle to ensure that he was not forgotten,” Gordon’s nephew, Lawrence R. Gordon, of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, said in a press release. “I had promised my father, who passed away in 1989, that I would locate his grave and visit it.”

However, Gordon’s nephew learned in 2001 that his uncle’s remains had never been found, leading to a large-scale effort to discover the soldier’s remains.

Gordon’s remains, which were buried in a German cemetery in Husines-sur-Mer, France, were identified this year through DNA testing carried out by a national crime lab in France. It cost the Gordon family $25,000 to identify the soldier.

“It was absolute family drive to make sure he was honored and brought home,” said Casper police Sgt. Scott Jones.

A procession following Gordon’s remains will start in Viroqua, Wis., on Friday. The procession will travel 1,500 miles through Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Canada. Gordon’s remains will be buried in his hometown of Eastend, Saskatchewan.

Casper and Mills police officers, Natrona County sheriff’s deputies and more than 50 motorcycle riders will escort Gordon beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday at Second Street and Hat Six Road.

The procession will go west through Casper to Poplar Street, then north on Poplar Street to Yellowstone Boulevard and First Street. The escorts will then turn west on First Street to Poison Spider Road in Mills and go southwest through Mills on Poison Spider Road, where they will stop at the ranch where Gordon worked.

“This is a great opportunity for folks to come out and pay their respects to a fallen World War II hero,” Jones said.

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