The last full measure


Funeral services held for fallen WWII soldier

By Sarah Hawley - shawley@aimmediamidwest.com



The flag draped casket of Army Pfc. James Wilmer White sits in Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home in advance of services on Saturday.

The flag draped casket of Army Pfc. James Wilmer White sits in Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home in advance of services on Saturday.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Veterans, many in American Legion or VFW posts, stand as the casket is carried from the funeral home.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Veterans lined the walkway as White’s flag draped casket was carried for burial.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

The top of the vault for White told of his military service.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Veterans and active duty military salute as the casket is transferred from the horse drawn hearse to the motorized hearse.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Pallbearers stand next to the casket at the cemetery as the flag flies overhead.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Military pallbearers place the flag draped casket in the horse drawn hearse.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Numerous veterans lined the walkway at the cemetery.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The flag draped casket of Army Pfc. James Wilmer White is carried from Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Band members played music from the steps of the Meigs County Courthouse.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Pomeroy to pay tribute to Army Pfc. James Wilmer White.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Local Girl Scouts helped to pass out flags to the crowd.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The Patriot Guard motorcycle group passes under the flag during the procession.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Local veterans transfer the casket from the horse drawn hearse to the motorized hearse.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Military medals awarded to Army Pfc. James Wilmer White.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The horse drawn hearse makes its way from Second Street onto Court Street.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” at the cemetery.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Military pallbearers march with the casket to the burial site.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Both the horse drawn hearse and the motorized hearse stop under the American Flag where the casket was transferred from one to the other.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Veterans line up to enter the funeral home to pay their respects.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The Patriot Guard motorcycle group was part of the procession.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Hundreds of people waved flags as they lined the streets in Pomeroy.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The casket is carried from the funeral home to the hearse.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The horse drawn hearse stopped on Mulberry Avenue beside the Meigs County Courthouse.


Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

POMEROY/LONG BOTTOM, Ohio — It was a homecoming nearly 77 years in the making.

Military services, proclamations, presentation of medals, and a procession through flag-lined streets welcomed home Army Pfc. James Wilmer White last Saturday nearly 77 years after he was killed in Burma during World War II.

The city of Chillicothe, as well as village of Pomeroy and Meigs County all declared Saturday, June 12, 2021, as Army Private First Class James Wilmer White Day in honor of the late soldier.

Presentations from both Pomeroy and Chillicothe, as well as the Ohio VFW were made before the services at the Ewing-Schwarzel celebration center (former Maple Lawn Brewery) with veterans from across the state in attendance. Major Patrick Hernandez, who is part of the Casualty Operations division of the Ohio National Guard, had been working with the White family leading up to the services and spoke briefly during the presentations.

During the public visitation, veterans and active duty military members were given the opportunity to pass by the casket to pay their respects to White and his family.

Following the funeral service, military pallbearers carried the flag draped casket to the horse drawn hearse as a bagpiper played “Going Home.” Doves were also released from the hillside above.

As the procession moved from the Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home toward Main Street, local band members under the direction of Toney Dingess played patriotic music. Hundreds of people lined the streets, waving flags in tribute to White.

Local fire departments also took part in the tribute with an American Flag draped from the Middleport and Pomeroy ladder trucks. It was at that location that local veterans served as pallbearers, moving the flag draped casket from the horse drawn hearse to the motorized hearse. The procession then moved to the White family cemetery off Bashan Road for burial of White with his family.

At the cemetery, military members and veterans lined the walkway where the casket was carried. Military honors were conducted, with the flag from the casket folded and given to the family at the conclusion of the service.

White, who grew up in Meigs County, later moved to Chillicothe, married his wife, Mary Frances Hunt, and joined the United States military.

On July 2, 1944, Pfc. James Wilmer White was killed in action and unidentifiable outside Myitkyina, Burma (now known as Myanmar). He was fighting with the famed 5307thComposite Unit Provisional — The Merrills Marauders. His Army Infantry Unit was conferred the Congressional Gold Medal by both Houses of Congress this past fall.

He was temporarily buried in U.S. Military Cemeteries in Burma and India. In 1949, one set of remains, designated Unknown X-52 Kalaikunda, was still unable to be identified and was buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In July 2018, the remains of service members from that battle were transferred to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

White was accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) on Jan. 29, 2020 after his remains were identified using dental, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence.

His name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Taguig City, Philippines, along with others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

A portion of the information provided by the United States military and Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home.

The flag draped casket of Army Pfc. James Wilmer White sits in Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home in advance of services on Saturday.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-1.jpgThe flag draped casket of Army Pfc. James Wilmer White sits in Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home in advance of services on Saturday. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Veterans, many in American Legion or VFW posts, stand as the casket is carried from the funeral home.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-2.jpgVeterans, many in American Legion or VFW posts, stand as the casket is carried from the funeral home. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Veterans lined the walkway as White’s flag draped casket was carried for burial.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-3-L.jpgVeterans lined the walkway as White’s flag draped casket was carried for burial. Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

The top of the vault for White told of his military service.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-4-L.jpgThe top of the vault for White told of his military service. Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Veterans and active duty military salute as the casket is transferred from the horse drawn hearse to the motorized hearse.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-5.jpgVeterans and active duty military salute as the casket is transferred from the horse drawn hearse to the motorized hearse. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Pallbearers stand next to the casket at the cemetery as the flag flies overhead.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-6-L.jpgPallbearers stand next to the casket at the cemetery as the flag flies overhead. Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Military pallbearers place the flag draped casket in the horse drawn hearse.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-7.jpgMilitary pallbearers place the flag draped casket in the horse drawn hearse. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Numerous veterans lined the walkway at the cemetery.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-8.jpgNumerous veterans lined the walkway at the cemetery. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The flag draped casket of Army Pfc. James Wilmer White is carried from Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-9.jpgThe flag draped casket of Army Pfc. James Wilmer White is carried from Ewing-Schwarzel Funeral Home. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Band members played music from the steps of the Meigs County Courthouse.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-10.jpgBand members played music from the steps of the Meigs County Courthouse. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Pomeroy to pay tribute to Army Pfc. James Wilmer White.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-11.jpgHundreds of people lined the streets in Pomeroy to pay tribute to Army Pfc. James Wilmer White. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Local Girl Scouts helped to pass out flags to the crowd.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-12.jpgLocal Girl Scouts helped to pass out flags to the crowd. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The Patriot Guard motorcycle group passes under the flag during the procession.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-13.jpgThe Patriot Guard motorcycle group passes under the flag during the procession. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Local veterans transfer the casket from the horse drawn hearse to the motorized hearse.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-14.jpgLocal veterans transfer the casket from the horse drawn hearse to the motorized hearse. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Military medals awarded to Army Pfc. James Wilmer White.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-15.jpgMilitary medals awarded to Army Pfc. James Wilmer White. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The horse drawn hearse makes its way from Second Street onto Court Street.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-16.jpgThe horse drawn hearse makes its way from Second Street onto Court Street. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” at the cemetery.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-17-L.jpgThe bagpiper played “Amazing Grace” at the cemetery. Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Military pallbearers march with the casket to the burial site.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-18-L.jpgMilitary pallbearers march with the casket to the burial site. Lorna Hart | Courtesy photo

Both the horse drawn hearse and the motorized hearse stop under the American Flag where the casket was transferred from one to the other.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-19.jpgBoth the horse drawn hearse and the motorized hearse stop under the American Flag where the casket was transferred from one to the other. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Veterans line up to enter the funeral home to pay their respects.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-20.jpgVeterans line up to enter the funeral home to pay their respects. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The Patriot Guard motorcycle group was part of the procession.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-21.jpgThe Patriot Guard motorcycle group was part of the procession. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

Hundreds of people waved flags as they lined the streets in Pomeroy.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-22.jpgHundreds of people waved flags as they lined the streets in Pomeroy. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The casket is carried from the funeral home to the hearse.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-23.jpgThe casket is carried from the funeral home to the hearse. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel

The horse drawn hearse stopped on Mulberry Avenue beside the Meigs County Courthouse.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/06/web1_6.19-White-24.jpgThe horse drawn hearse stopped on Mulberry Avenue beside the Meigs County Courthouse. Sarah Hawley | Sentinel
Funeral services held for fallen WWII soldier

By Sarah Hawley

shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.