Welcome home, fallen hero
On Nov. 27, 1943, Bridgeport native Charles George Reynolds, then just 24 years of age, was a crew member on a B-25 Mitchell when it failed to return from a bombing run at Wewak, New Guinea. Reynolds and the rest of the crew were classified as missing in action, and for 80 years his remains were unidentified, giving his family little in the way of closure.
On Saturday, through the efforts of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and others, 1st Lt. Reynolds finally was laid to rest. His remains, recently identified, were buried next to his mother and father at Weeks Cemetery in Bridgeport.
“Today, we honor 1st Lt. Reynolds for his service to our country and for making the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms and liberties,” said Department of Ohio POW/MIA Chairman Ralph Reynolds. “First Lt. Reynolds’ legacy does not stop here today. His legacy will continue as we educate and teach our youth and communities about the prisoner of war/missing in action issue and to continue to demand the accountability of our missing to bring them home and to teach the significance of the ultimate sacrifice. We will never forget.”
Ralph Reynolds is right — we must never forget. The men and women who sacrificed their lives for this nation deserve no less.
Their families deserve no less.
As of May 2023, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are more than 81,000 American soldiers who remain missing in action since World War II. Three-fourths of those are located in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the POW/MIA Accounting Agency, with “41,000 of the missing … presumed lost at sea.”
Let us never forget. Let us never stop working to identify those lost. Let us honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and provide closure for families.
Rest easy, 1st Lt. Reynolds. We join with the local community in welcoming you home.