A story reported by the Fox 9 Investigators is getting the attention of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. Her office has stepped in to help a family find a Minnesota sailor still missing in action from World War II. John Anderson from Willmar, Minn., like so many others of his generation, wanted to do his part.
At 22 years old, he enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to a ship nicknamed the “Wolverine”. It carried him into one of the major battles of World War II, the allied invasion of Normandy, France. D-day, as it was called, was the last day of his young life. A German shell ripped into the ship, killing Anderson instantly. His family was told his body washed out to sea.
Earlier this year the Fox 9 Investigators told the story of Don Franklin, John's nephew, who has been trying to convince the Pentagon since 2009 that there's strong evidence his uncle's remains had been buried in a tomb of unknowns at Normandy.
The family wants grave number 14 opened and DNA testing done to see if the remains are Anderson's. Their request has been denied twice.
After the story aired, the Fox 9 Investigators alerted Sen. Klobuchar to the case. The Senator's office then contacted the Navy on the family's behalf. That nudge was enough to get the Navy to now recommend disinterment of grave 14.
That is the first step in a process to use modern technology to identify the remains buried there so long ago.
"These heroes have been on the front line, this was the greatest generation," said Klobuchar. "I figure our job is to help people, especially our veterans and their families, when they need to get through red tape and get through bureaucracy."
For the first time in over 70 years, Anderson's family is hopeful they will finally learn what came of him.
"Now we have this feeling of momentum, so I think the results will be given to us fairly soon," said Franklin.