Fallen Georgia soldier returning home after 69 years


HOGANSVILLE, Ga. (WRBL)–The remains of a Hogansville soldier killed in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War will be returned to his loved ones after nearly seven decades.

Army Sgt. Billy Joe Maxwell, 19, was reported missing in action Nov. 30, 1950. Following the end of the war, his remains could not be recovered.

On Thursday, the remains of Sgt. Maxwell are expected to arrive at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at about 2:45 p.m.

Sgt. Maxwell is being escorted from Hawaii by his great-nephew, who is a member of the U.S Navy. His remains were among those returned to the United States from North Korea in 2018.

Upon arriving at the airport, a military honor guard will be present while removing the casket from the airplane and loaded it into the hearse, with his family being allowed at the gate to witness the ceremony.

From the airport, Sgt. Maxwell will be taken to a funeral home in Hogansville. The Hogansville Police Department will participate in the escort from the airport to the funeral home, as will representatives from Fort Benning, along with other agencies and military groups.

Hogansville officials are encouraging the community to come out and honor Sgt. Maxwell as he is returned home. A visitation and funeral service will be held Friday and Saturday.

On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea turned over 55 boxes containing the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War.

The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018. Since that time, researchers have been working to identify them and return them to their families.

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