"When I was about, 10, 12 years old, that was during World War II. My oldest brother came home from work one day and told us he had enlisted."
Those are the words of Eva Hinerman, as she reminisces about her brother Jerome, a World War II veteran with an incredible story to be told.
Sgt. Jerome E. Kiger then became a proud tail gunner on a B-24 Liberator aircraft during the war.
"We were so proud of him." said Hinerman
But while on a bombing raid on enemy targets over Germany, that plane was shot down, and a year later the army pronounced him dead. Of the nine crew members, six parachuted to safety. Kiger, and another crewman were not recovered, and attempts to recover their remains after the war were unsuccessful.
65 Year later, Eva and her family received a phone call from Germany. It was from a man named Markus Mooser saying he had found her brothers crash site, and remains. In shock and utter disbelief, they just waved it off as a prank. Until he kept calling. Mooser is a German national who discovered the crash site and metal from the B24 Liberator airplane.
"It was hard for me to think that some way, somebody halfway around the world could find that, and tell me what he did." said Hinerman.
"I thought there was no way this could happen. no one in Germany is going to find a plane thats been missing and take the time to start digging."
Said Jerome's niece Donna Renner.
But no matter the amount of time, this war hero was never forgotten by his family.
"It just all seems like a dream right now." said Hinerman
"I don't know what we'll feel when we see the Patriot Guard escorting the draped casket back to Mannington, you know this is the first time he's been back on American soil in 69 years." said Renner
Make sure to stick with 5 News Friday on First at 5 and 5 News at 6 for the second part of this war hero's incredible journey home.