ST. LOUIS – Family members of U.S. Army First Lt. Melvin Meyer are preparing for his funeral. The remains of the WWII veteran returned to St. Louis Friday night. He had been missing in action for nearly 80 years. 

Meyer was part of a crew that led an air raid over Germany in 1944. Their plane was struck and crashed. Survivors became prisoners of war. Meyer was not located. 

The crash site was not discovered again until 2012. Excavation efforts eventually led to the discovery of Meyer’s crucifix, rosary, wallet, and other personal items. His identification was confirmed through DNA testing, dental records, and other means. 

“We’re just so happy to have him home,” said Nedra Orf, Meyer’s great-niece. “It is very emotional.”

Family members greeted the flag-draped coffin at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Friday. A procession transported the coffin, with family members following behind. 

“This is a great country,” said Jim Crum, Meyer’s great-nephew. “This is proving it to me right here.” 

The public is invited to join Meyer’s family in honoring his sacrifice by attending his services. A visitation is scheduled for Thursday, May 25, from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Pitman Funeral Home located at 1545 Wentzville Parkway, Wentzville, MO, 63385. 

Meyer’s funeral will be Friday, May 26 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Gianna Catholic Church, 450 E. Hwy. N., Wentzville, MO, 63385. He will be buried with full military honors at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. 

The family asked that memorials be made to History Flight, Inc., 317 Williams St., Suite #1, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. Meyer’s relatives said the organization was instrumental in excavating the crash site and bringing their loved one home.