NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – More than 7,700 Americans are still unaccounted for from the Korean War. While these service members may be missing, they are not forgotten.
This week, one man finally came home to his family in North Charleston.
Roseann Stonestreet says, “After all that time, I never thought that it would be possible.”
Stonestreet was 12 years old when she last saw her father Army Master Sergeant Finley “Fin” Davis.
“He took me to the movies and we saw Flamingo Road with Joan Crawford,” she remembers.
While Davis was in Korea, his unit was attacked by Chinese forces. He was taken prisoner and reported missing in action in December 1950 and died in a prison camp in 1951. The military was unable to recover Davis’ body, leaving young Roseann and her mother without closure.
Stonestreet says, “My mom would look for him wherever we went. And she looked for him all her life, until she died.”
For more than 60 years, Roseann had to come to terms with the fact that her father was one of thousands of soldiers unable to be put to rest. Until one day, the phone rang.
She says, “This gentleman gave his name and he said, ‘I have good news for you’. He said, ‘We found your father’s remains’.”
Since 1954, Davis’ remains have been buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. His body, for decades, known only as Unknown Soldier X-14042 now has a name. Scientific advancements including DNA testing revealed the remains are Finley Davis.
“I’m glad he’s coming home. That’s all I care about now, that he’s coming home,” Stonestreet says.
Davis will finally return home to his wife and be buried next to her in North Charleston’s Carolina Memorial Gardens.
His daughter says, “It’s kind of odd to say you’re happy at a funeral, but that’s how I feel.”
His body arrived from Hawaii on Tuesday, escorted by his great-grandson who is an Army paratrooper.
Stonestreet says, “He is so excited, he says, ‘Grandma, I’m so honored to be doing this.'”
A reunion one woman has been waiting for her entire life.
Stonestreet says, “I would crawl there if I had to. I can’t wait. I can’t wait til he gets off that plane.”
She will accept the Purple Heart in her father’s honor during his funeral Thursday.
The viewing and the funeral are open to the public. The viewing is Wednesday, April 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. and the funeral is at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 19. Both are taking place at Carolina Memorial Gardens (7113 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston.