WWII soldier's remains returned to native Minnesota after more than 70 years

At long last, a fallen soldier from WWII is back in his native Minnesota.

Today, Jerry Jacobsen's 94-year-old widow welcomed him home.

Brad Jacobsen had never met his aunt Catherine until a Fox 9 investigation brought them together. Investigators obtained information from a military researcher indicating that army staff Sgt. Jerry Jacobsen - Brad's uncle, and Catherine's husband - was buried in an unknown solider grave in France.

He had been listed as missing in action since July of 1944.

“I want to tell him I love him,” Catherine said. “I can't help it. He was so good."

For more than 70 years, Catherine has tried to get answers. She was not aware the government had clues that could help locate her husband's remains.

Brad took on the cause, urging the Department of Defense to open an investigation.

Last month, the remains were positively identified and today, Jerry Jacobsen came home to Minnesota. The airport fire department welcomed his arrival with a water cannon salute.

Nearly a hundred of Jerry's relatives were on hand to cherish a moment, some seven decades in the making.

The normal hustle and bustle of Twin Cities International airport was on pause as strangers stopped to show their respects to the young man from Little Canada who left his bride to fight for his country in a foreign land.

Jerry Jacobsen was a prolific letter writer, and Catherine still has hundreds of the letters he sent.

The last one came from a battlefield in France just three days before his death.

It spoke of his eagerness for the war to end so he could come home to Catherine.

A funeral with full military honors will take place Friday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. There will also be a flyover of WWII aircraft to honor staff Sgt. Jacobsen.