MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - After 72 years of searching and waiting, a Roseville, Minnesota, woman will finally get the chance to give her husband a proper burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Catherine Burket, 94, married Staff Sergeant Jerry Jacobson in 1943, only a few days before he shipped out to fight the Nazis in France.
“I knew we were in love but I didn't know we were that much in love," Catherine said.
On July 16, 1944, German shells rained down on Jacobsen's outpost. He never came home and was listed missing in action.
GOVERNMENT KNEW REMAINS WERE IN QUESTION
For seven decades Catherine has been asking the U.S. Government to search for her husband's remains and return them to Minnesota.
Brad Jacobsen had never met his aunt Catherine until a Fox 9 Investigation brought them together a year ago.
Records from Roberta Russo, an independent researcher, indicated Jacobsen could be buried in a grave for an "unknown" soldier at a cemetery in Normandy, France. The Department of Defense had been alerted to the same files back in 2008 but didn’t follow through.
The Fox 9 story, however, got the Pentagon's attention and the grave was exhumed in November, with DNA testing confirming the remains are Jacobsen's.
“Oh my God, I say this has been a long time, seventy some years to wait for him to come home," Catherine said.
SISTER HEARS THE NEWS
Six Jacobsen brothers served in WWII. Two gave their lives to the cause. The lone surviving sibling is their little sister Jackie LeBath.
When the Fox 9 Investigators approached her last summer with information that might help find her brother, she was skeptical at first--ultimately embracing the effort of her nephew, Brad, who asked the Army to reopen the case.
He credits the Fox 9 Investigators with helping to make Jacobson’s return home possible.
The family is making funeral arrangements for Jacobsen to be buried with full military honors at Fort Snelling in July.
SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR'S STATEMENT
“Jerry Jacobsen was an American hero. At just 27 years old, he made the ultimate sacrifice shortly after D-Day. And every day since, his wife Catherine has worn the ring he gave her and held on to hope she might someday see him laid to rest at home in Minnesota. I’m honored to have helped the Department of Defense move this process forward and hope Jerry’s return home will bring some measure of closure to Catherine and the entire Jacobsen family.”