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flags to half-staff

MADISON – In honor of Army Private First Class William LaVerne “Sonny” Simon who died during World War II and was not indentified, Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #189 ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.

The order will be in effect from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday.

Recently, this soldier’s remains from World War II were identified and returned to Wisconsin on March 24, after nearly 80 years.

Simon’s remains arrive at Mitchell Airport

“A decorated military veteran, Private Simon served our state and country well, giving his life in defense of the values and freedoms we hold most dear,” said Gov. Evers. “We are incredibly grateful for the efforts of his family and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to bring him home so that he will finally be laid to rest in peace.”

Simon’s Sacrifice

Simon was a veteran of World War II, a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, and an Army Private First Class who was reported unaccounted for on Nov. 5, 1944, during the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest in Germany.

Army Private First Class Simon was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his actions at the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest. 

His remains were designated “X-5767” and were interred in the Ardennes American Cemetery in 1950. His name has been memorialized on the Netherlands American Cemetery Wall of the Missing, along with others missing from World War II.

In April 2019, Army Private First Class Simon’s remains were sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for analysis and identification, and because of the efforts of his surviving sister and brother and the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Army Private First Class Simon’s remains have been positively identified.

Livestream of burial

This Veteran has returned home and Simon will receive a proper burial with full military honors in his hometown of Middleton, Wis., on March 28. Those who wish to pay respects may tune in to the live-stream by clicking below at the time of the service.

YouTube video


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