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On November 4, 1943, a B-24D Liberator with a crew of 10 departed on a World War II reconnaissance mission from Dobodura Territory of New Guinea.

6/20/2006

(Warrensburg, Mo.)… On November 4, 1943, a B-24D Liberator with a crew of 10 departed on a World War II reconnaissance mission from Dobodura Territory of New Guinea.  Sixty-three years after he was declared missing in action, Air Force navigator 1st Lt. David Eppright was given a full military burial in his hometown of Warrensburg, Missouri, complete with a 21-gun salute and a fly-over. Meierhoffer Funeral Home handled the funeral arrangements with burial assistance from SI Funeral Services.

In 2000, a hunter discovered a plane containing Eppright's remains in a mountain gully, along with his dog tags, and those of his fellow crewmen, but didn't disclose the findings to the U.S. Embassy until 2 years later. It took another four years for the remains to be recovered, identified and returned to their families. Later this summer, Eppright and his fellow crew members will all be remembered during a service at Arlington National Cemetery.

While Helen Pennington, Eppright's former wife, was pregnant with their first son at the time of his disappearance, she had asked the military not to inform her husband because "I wanted to be the first one to tell David," she said.  Sadly, she never got the opportunity to do that. The discovery of his remains along with the memorial service finally gave closure to Pennington and a son who never knew his father.

While this funeral occurred under some unique circumstances, it is not unusual for SI Funeral Services and its parent company, Suhor Industries, Inc., to be involved in military burials.   They have buried thousands of America's finest servicemen and women killed in action in our nation's wars going back to World War II.  Suhor Industries is the nation's largest Wilbert Burial Vault licensee and one of the leading funeral service providers in the country.  They provided Lt. Eppright a free Wilbert burial vault.

SI Veteran Memorials, a sister company of SI Funeral Services, has been involved in hundreds of a veteran memorial projects, ranging from as small as $5,000 to over $2 million.  Construction began May 8,2006 on the new Korean War Veterans Memorial in Overland Park, Kansas honoring the state's servicemen killed in action during that war.  SI Veteran Memorials is the preferred provider to the VFW and is working with the American Legion on several projects.  SI Construction Services, another sister company, is currently involved in the construction of the nation's newest national cemetery, the Georgia National Cemetery, located outside of Atlanta in Canton, GA.

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