Governor to honor WWII Marine from Nashville during Memorial Day service

Posted at 5:40 AM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 08:36:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Lee will honor a fallen soldier during the state's annual Memorial Day service on Thursday. It's happening at War Memorial Auditorium at 2:30 p.m.

U.S. Marine Corps Corporal William R. Ragsdale of Nashville is being honored. He was killed in action in 1944. It wasn't until last year that his remains finally returned home.

His body wasn't able to be found during the chaos surrounding the battle for Saipan or its aftermath. At the time he was part of a larger effort to capture the Mariana Islands from Japan.

His status was changed to missing in action then later deceased. Unknown remains of soldiers were later laid in the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. But years later, historians with Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency linked one of the remains with Corporal Ragsdale.

The remains then went for laboratory analysis in 2020 and were later identified as a positive match. It wasn't until last August that he finally came back to Nashville.

Thursday's celebrations will mark a long-awaited homecoming for this hero.