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Residents line streets to welcome fallen WWII soldier home [a gallery]

Saturday morning dawned grey and dreary, but that didn’t stop area residents from braving the rain to pay their respects to 2nd Lt. Walter B. “Buster” Stone.

Stone  was 24 when he died on Oct. 22, 1943, when his P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft crashed in northern France during a bomber escort mission. Because France was enemy-occupied territory at the time of the crash, search and recovery operations were not possible.

His remains were recently identified, and he was interred in the family plot at Pleasant Home Baptist Church in a ceremony will full military honors. [See related gallery]