Korean War soldier’s remains come home to Leominster after 60 years

A US soldier who died during the Korean War will return to his hometown of Leominster more than 60 years after his death.

Private First Class Norman Philip Dufresne’s body will arrive at around noon at Logan International Airport, a Massport spokesman said. After a transfer of the body from the US Army to the family, a motorcade will bring his body to Simard Funeral Home in his hometown of Leominster.

Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella expects residents to line the streets during the procession to welcome Dufresne back, according to the Leominster city website.

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Dufresne was first listed as missing in action in June 1950, then as killed in action on Dec. 31, 1953, according to a report in the Telegram and Gazette.

Dufresne’s remains were recovered in the village of Taesu in South Korea in 1951, but a positive identification could not be made due to the limitations of science at the time, the Telegram reported.

In 2012, the Army’s Central Identification Unit made another attempt and positively identified Dufresne thanks to new forensic technology.

A ceremony will be held at the Leominster Veterans Center at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to honor Dufresne as well as a burial Mass at 1 p.m. Saturday in St. Cecilia’s Church in Leominster. Burial with full military honors will follow in St. Cecilia’s Cemetery, according to the Leominster city website.

In lieu of flowers at the memorial events, Dufresne’s family is asking that donations in his name be made to the Leominster Veterans Center.