Family members in Everett finally laid to rest a veteran of World War II and the Korean War on Tuesday, 65 years after he went missing in action while fighting in North Korea.
The remains of Army Sergeant Christopher Vars were returned to his family Sept. 9 after extensive DNA testing and research from North Korean documents matched Vars to his cousins and nephews.
Vars first enlisted in the Army in 1942 and fought in the Pacific during World War II. When he reenlisted in 1948 to fight in the Korean War, he was deployed north and east of the town of Kunu-ri, North Korea, according to a statement from the town of Reading, where Vars’s funeral service was held on Tuesday.
On Nov. 27, 1950, Vars’s infantry division was attacked by Chinese forces, and Vars was reported missing. His remains were returned in 1993, through a series of shipments that the North Korean government sent to the United States from 1990 to 1994.
US officials believe the 208 boxes contained at least 600 US servicemen taken during the war, the statement said.
Though the military offered a burial spot for Vars at Arlington National Cemetery, the veteran was buried in a family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, a request that Vars’s older brother made to his own children when he died nearly two decades ago.