COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) - It's been six decades but a sailor from Columbus killed in theKorean War will finally rest in peace.
Robert Langwell was the second cousin Brenda Showalter neverknew; missing for 60 years. Then last year her phone rang.
"I was just sure it was a scam," remembers Showalter. "Someonewas wanting money. This can't be."
But it was true. The remains of Navy Ensign Robert Langwell hadbeen found in South Korea.
"It's just kind of sad that I never met him never got to talk tohim and he never got to live life, and gave this ultimate sacrificefor his country," she says.
The Korean War has just started and Ensign Langwell was on boarda minesweeper, the USS Magpie, right off the coast, when the shipstruck an enemy mine and exploded.
Twelve sailors survived, 21 didn't.
Shortly after the Magpie sank, a South Korean fisherman found abody tangled in his nets. He took it ashore and buried it. Yearslater, when South Korean officials were looking for remains, he ledthem right to the spot.
Searchers recovered Langwell's dog tags and his military ID. DNAsamples from family provided the final confirmation.
"Apparently this is the first navy personnel that has beenrecovered who was missing in action," reports Harry McCawley of theColumbus Republic.
Langwell's remains were flown to Hawaii before moving on toWashington D.C.
"It just fills a void," says McCawley. "It's not going to bringhim back to life, at least they know where they are. And questionshave been answered which here to fore had been uncertain."
Langwell's aunt, Mary Parker, remembers his broken-heartedmother.
"She died assuming he was still lost at sea," remembers Parker."So she never ever really knew what happened and that was the sadpart of is because she was his only child."
"They asked us what we wanted to do about a funeral and wedebated that for awhile," says Showalter. "He was born in Columbus,lived in Indianapolis, his parents had moved to Arizona. We justfelt the burial in Arlington would be such an honor especiallygiven the special circumstances."
Navy Ensign Robert Langwell will finally rest at ArlingtonNational Cemetery July 12. Nine members of his family will be thereat his side.
"I think it's just amazing that the government does this, thatthey devote so much energy and cost to finding these people andfinding their family and doing the right thing, giving them aproper burial even if it's 60 years later," says Showalter.
Just last month, Langwell's name was finally etched into historyon the war memorial in Columbus.
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