Bringing Tiny home: Remains of WWII hero arrive in Florida


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Bringing Tiny home: Remains of WWII hero arrive in Florida

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Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
The remains of US Army Sgt. Richard Sowell are moved to a hearse by the US Army Honor Guard after arriving at PBIA Wednesday, November 8, 2017. “Tiny” Sowell’s buddies saw the popular Palm Beach High grad be blown to bits by Japanese explosives on Saipan, but they couldn’t get to his mangled body to bring him home. It would take seven decades, and 21st century technology, and a persistent nephew, but Tiny finally is coming home.

Tiny came home Wednesday, three-quarters of a century after he left, bearing the same grin that made him a darling of Palm Beach High’s Class of 1941 and filled with ardor to save the world — or die trying.

Which is what U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Gordon Sowell did, fighting in the Pacific in 1944.

With the military unable to make a firm identification of his shattered remains, they laid him in a numbered grave with those of others until authorities used 21st-century technology to make a match. And finally send him home.

He will be buried at 11 a.m. Friday— the day before Veterans Day — in a family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach.

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