Soldier’s remains to arrive in Urbana

URBANA — The remains of a soldier killed during the Korean War will return to Urbana on Wednesday at approximately 5 p.m. The procession will enter the city on South Main Street.

Army Cpl. Charles E. Hiltibran, a native of Cable, was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea.

Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. He was just 19 years old.

Almost 70 years later, Hiltibran’s remains were turned over by North Korea on July 27, 2018. He was accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on April 20, 2020 after his remains were identified using circumstantial evidence, as well as, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

The procession on Wednesday will begin in Dayton and enter Urbana from U.S. Route 68 south of Urbana at approximately 5 p.m. before arriving at the Walter & Lewis Funeral home on South Main Street. Local residents are invited to line the streets with flags to help welcome the local soldier back home for the solemn occasion. Once the procession ends at the funeral home, the public portion of the event will end for the day and no formal event will be held on site at the funeral home. The public is asked to refrain from parking or gathering at the funeral home on Wednesday.

A public visitation will be held on Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral home. This is the only public visitation scheduled.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. at the VFW BrownRidge Hall, 220 E. Court St. in Urbana. Burial will follow at Oak Dale Cemetery with full military honors.

All Friday and Saturday events – the visitation at the funeral home, the service at the VFW and the burial at Oak Dale – are open to the public.

Cpl. Hiltibran’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

More than 7,500 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.