TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — A reunion like no other.
A once unidentified hero of World War II, Master Sgt. The body of William O Wood arrived at the Tallahassee airport on Friday and was escorted off the plane with honors.
And our cameras were there to capture it all.
It has been 79 years since Master Sgt. Wood died during World War II and his family was never really closed. All this until they are reunited with him on Friday. A moment they say they never saw coming.
“No. I never did. For me, it was just a story in my family. I never thought, not once, that this would happen, ”said the master sergeant. Wood’s great-nephew, Jeff Barton.
For a very long time, his family said that Master Sgt. Wood was more of a myth. They say they used to hear stories about the Valdosta native being a gunner on a B-24 Liberator.
“In all our lives no one really knew him. He was just a story and some pictures my grandmother had and just a twinkle in his eyes that we saw when she told stories about him. “, explained Barton.
But now that he’s here, the connection is finally over.
And there is a sense of gratitude that Master Sgt. Wood will finally get the recognition he deserves.
“He is a true American hero. I mean he was willing to put his life on the line for our freedom,” Barton exclaimed.
As the plane headed for docking, nearly eighty years of uncertainty finally became a reality as Barton watched as his great-uncle was escorted with honors.
“I’m just overwhelmed by it all. We are very touched by this and all the dignity and respect this army has shown to these soldiers and this is 79 years later,” Barton said.
A reunification, according to the family, should make a one-of-a-kind funeral service.
“It’s just a wonderful thing. This will be one of the most joyous funerals I have ever attended, let’s put it that way,” Baton described. “So it’s a dark occasion but it’s very joyful for us.”
Staff Sgt. Wood is resting at the house where he belongs.
Staff Sgt. Wood will be buried at Tallahassee National Cemetery by Bevis Funeral Home on Monday, August 1.
It’s the same day he died 79 years ago.
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