(FOX 11 / CNS) An Army sergeant who died as a prisoner of war in Korea nearly 63 years ago but whose remains were only recently identified was returned to Los Angeles, where his remains were greeted by his 94-year-old widow and other relatives.
Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt joined the Army in 1942 and served in the South Pacific during World War II. He met his wife, Clara, while traveling by train from Texas to Los Angeles, and they married in June 1948. He was then deployed to Korea as a field medic.
He was taken prisoner near Kunu-ri on Dec. 1, 1950. Gantt was listed as missing in action/presumed dead for nearly 63 years. It was later determined that he died March 27, 1951, according to the USO.
His now-identified remains were flown to Los Angeles International Airport from Honolulu -- the home of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and forensic labs.
Gantt's wife was on hand when the remains arrive at about 5 a.m. aboard United Airlines flight 534. Airport Police and U.S. Army honor guards also greeted the plane, which will be saluted with water cannon arches.
The flag-draped coffin is expected to be taken to Inglewood for burial. Gantt was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star with Valor medal for his service. He has also received a host of other military honors, including a World War II Victory Medal, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, National Defense Service Medal and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
In honor of Gantt, the LAX Gateway Pylons were illuminated red, white and blue.