BOSTON (WHDH) - A World War II soldier from Massachusetts whose remains were recently identified received a hero’s homecoming on Friday.

After nearly 80 years, Lt. Joseph Finneran of Needham is finally home. His remains arrived at Boston Logan Airport just after 6:30 p.m.

“This is like a dream come true,” Finneran’s nephew William Glennon said. “I started hearing the story probably when I was 10 years old. I’m almost 70 and I never thought it would happen.”

Finneran was shot down over Romania back in 1943.

The following year, his sister received a letter from General H.H. Arnold confirming his death.

“I noticed like a flag and medals in there so I asked my mother and she said, ‘Oh, those are my brother Joe’s,” Glennon recalled.

His remains were recently identified through DNA tests.

“It’s amazing,” Finneran’s nephew said. “You see these sports guys say they dream to be up a bat in the bottom of the ninth. I always say jeez, wouldn’t it be great if we brought Joe home. This is amazing.”

Now, with the tarmac at a standstill, Finneran is finally getting the welcome home he deserves.

“There are so many people who have sacrificed their lives, especially during World War II and Korea,” veteran Howard Shrut said. “It is really important not to forget them. Even if it’s 75 years later.”

Finneran was transferred to George F. Doherty Funeral Home, 1305 Highland Avenue in Needham.

The public is invited to attend his wake on Friday Nov. 8 from 4-7 p.m., the mass at St. Joseph Church, and the following burial which will be held with full military honors at Mount Benedict Cemetery, 409 Corey Street, in West Roxbury.


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