Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Serviceman Lost in World War II Finally Returns Home

By Marcie Kobriger

The remains of a Green Bay serviceman lost at war more than six decades ago finally returned to Northeast Wisconsin.

At 81 years old, Joyce Clark can clearly recall the events of a Saturday nearly 66 years ago.

"I can remember that day. I was still in bed because it was a Saturday, and I remember someone knocking at the door, my mother going to the door, and having her say, 'Oh, no,' and I knew right away something."

Joyce was 15 years old. Her brother, Second Lieutenant Robert Streckenbach was just 21 when he was lost in action in World War II.

The plane he and ten other servicemen were in ran into bad weather over Papau, New Guinea.

But what exactly happened to them would remain a mystery for more than half a century.

"You wait and you wait and you wait. You know, every time the phone rings you think it's that somebody at the door."

Joyce would wait more than 60 years before she heard any more about her brother.

The military located Streckenbach's plane in 2004 and positively identified his remains just weeks ago.

Lieutenant Streckenbach returned to Northeast Wisconsin last week.

"You walked around the end of the plane. Here you see the cargo door open, and this casket there with the flag draped over it, and these seven soldiers standing there, and it just blows you away."

Blown away to be in the presence of her older brother once again and to know a son lost to her parents 66 years ago will soon lay beside them.

"Really this is a happy time, that after all these years he's finally going to be home," Joyce said.

Story and Video can be seen at

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