MOUNT OLIVE - After nearly 80 years, Army Sgt. John W. Radanovich, who died at age 23 in the battle of Hurtgen Forest in Germany in December 1944, will be laid to rest Saturday in a family plot at a Mount Olive Cemetery.
For anyone wishing to attend a visitation and service for Radanovich, it will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Becker & Son Funeral Home in Mount Olive.
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A series of battles occurred over 50 square miles on the German-Belgian border in 1944 to 1945 and Radanovich's rifle platoon encountered what was described as a "fierce counterattack" with the German soldiers on Dec. 1, 1944. That was the last time the Mount Oliver soldier was seen alive.
Radanovich was a White City native and star Mount Olive athlete. He enlisted in the U.S. Army from Michigan in November 1942.
Radanovich had been reported as a prisoner of war by the Germans, but his regiment was not able to do a thorough search for him because of ongoing combat. A Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency historian determined a set of remains recovered near Grosshau in 1946 were possibly those of Radanovich. The remains were sent from Belgium in 2021 to a DPAA lab for analysis and he was identified by the agency through extensive analysis of the DNA lab.
Unfortunately, Radanovich's lasting living sibling Louise died in 2020 at age 101 in Alhambra. Two nephews and a niece are listed as Radanovich's survivors.
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