Metuchen honors long-lost staff sergeant with a Memorial Day celebration

Monday, May 29, 2023
Metuchen honors late staff sergeant with a Memorial Day homecoming
After 80 years, the missing remains of Michael Uhrin was finally recovered, leading to an emotional hero's celebration in Metuchen on Memorial Day. Toni Yates has the story.

METUCHEN, New Jersey -- Staff Sergeant Michael Uhren was just 21 years old when his group of bombers came under heavy attack by Germany.

He died in 1943.

A body had never been recovered until recently, which gave his hometown of Metuchen, New Jersey a new reason to commemorate Memorial Day.

80 years after his death, Uhren was back home.

Metuchen honored the staff sergeant, along with 40 other hometown heroes who lost their lives defending America.

"To have someone who no one ever thought would come home, come home to have all generation's honor him is incredible," said Mayor of Metuchen Jonathan Busch.

His remains were discovered after DNA swabs were taken from Michael and Michael Jr. two years ago, as the army was relentless in trying to identify bodies recovered from unmarked graves of U.S. soldiers in Germany.

Uhrin's family traveled from Arizona and Pennsylvania to finally see the long-awaited return, and properly lay him to rest.

"We are humbled and in awe," said Uhrin's nephew, Michael Uchrin Jr., whose last name is spelt differently from his uncle.

For Steven Leventhal, a Vietnam veteran, who can recall the worst of the year, this was a heart-rendering moment.

"I survived. We lost 30 men. It's emotional," he shared.

Metuchen showed its care on this Memorial Day, honoring the efforts of the heroes who fell and one who is now home.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.