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Remains from Minnesota Korean War prisoner of war finally coming home after 60 years

Cpl. James Norman Sund

FARGO - More than 60 years after he died as a prisoner of war in Korea, Cpl. James Norman Sund is coming home.

Sund's remains, which were recently recovered and identified by the Army, will arrive Friday night at Fargo's Hector International Airport, where the Minnesota Army National Guard's Honor Guard will perform military honors.

From there, Patriot Guard riders will accompany Sund's remains to Thief River Falls, Minn., where two of his five surviving siblings live.

A funeral will take place at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Faith Lutheran Church in Goodridge, Minn. Burial will follow in Highlanding Cemetery, in the township of the same name where Sund grew up on the family farm.

For family members, the return of Sund's remains brings closure, said his niece, Marilyn Stanley of Goodridge.

"It's nice, I guess, knowing that they're bringing him back home," she said.

Sund's military uniform will be displayed at the funeral, decorated with the medals he earned, including the Purple Heart and the POW Medal, according to Stanley and Johnson Funeral Service of Thief River Falls.

Born March 14, 1923, Sund enlisted in the Army and was a member of Company K of the 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was taken prisoner during combat in South Korea on Feb. 12, 1951, and was killed that April 24 at the age of 28.

Stanley said the Army took DNA samples from her mother, Sophie Rambeck of Thief River Falls, and another of Sund's sisters, Mathilda Sund of Grand Forks, about five years ago and used it to identify his remains at a facility in Hawaii.

Sund's family didn't hold a funeral for him when he went missing in action and was later confirmed dead, but a memorial stone was laid for him in Highlanding Cemetery, Stanley said.

"They knew he was gone, but at least now he can be laid to rest in peace," she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528