Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Orders Flags to Half-staff to Honor World War II Soldier

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 10, 2011  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

MIA Kentucky serviceman recently identified in Germany; burial scheduled at Arlington

FRANKFORT, Ky.– Gov. Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011 in honor of a Kentucky serviceman who has been recently identified after going missing in action in World War II.

According to the Department of Defense, Army Pfc. William F. Stehlin of Dayton, Ky., went missing on Nov. 20, 1944 near Süggerath while his unit conducted a largely successful offensive to capture towns in Western Germany. In 1951, after an extensive search, his remains were determined unrecoverable by U.S. Army Graves Registration personnel.  Stehlin was a member of the 333rd Infantry Regiment, 84th Infantry Division.

In 2009, a German citizen digging in a wooded area near Süggerath, discovered a grave with the remains of two individuals, military-related equipment and identification tags.  Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command laboratory also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.  The other individual, Pfc. Edward L. O'Toole, was identified and buried on July 15 in San Bruno, Calif.

Funeral services with full military honors for Army Pfc. Stehlin will be held on Aug. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.  Gov. Beshear encourages individuals, businesses, organizations and government agencies to join in this tribute.

Flag status information is available at