Minnesota widow receives WWII medals 73 years after loss

The remains of a Minnesota veteran have been found and identified more than 70 years after he went missing during World War II.

Army Staff Sgt. Gerald “Jerry” Jacobsen’s remains were found and identified last month. His widow, Catherine Tauer, was presented with his Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals Thursday.

Roberta Russo, an amateur historian from Illinois, helped identify Jacobsen while researching WWII records. She saw four numbers stitched on the underwear of an unidentified U.S. solider buried in France and was able to link those numbers to Jacobsen.

The Defense Department exhumed the grave, and a lab in Nebraska used DNA from Jacobsen’s brother, Lester Jacobsen, to confirm the identity of the remains.

Jacobsen will be buried with full military honors at Fort Snelling on June 15.