The living members of the company, who met for annual reunions, took notice.
“Somebody said, ‘Well, if we could find one man by accident, what could we do if we all put our minds together and told everything we know about where the missing in action were,’” Bellamy said. “So, that year, they made a newsletter listing all the missing in action and asked for all remaining soldiers to tell everything they remembered about those men when they went missing.”
Two men recognized Holloway’s name and contacted an expert on World War II troop movements, who lived in Pennsylvania. The boys in Belgium were then given an approximate location to look for Holloway’s remains.
“They went back looking again and they found a trench that the Germans had thrown spent artillery shells into,” Bellamy said. “They got the indication of metal in there, so they dug down and sure enough there was a body. Larry still had his wallet in his pocket and his driver’s license was visible, signature and everything.”
The wet climate meant the ink on Holloway’s license faded quickly after it was disturbed. But, Bellamy added, the same forensics lab in Hawaii was able to recreate his face based on muscle scars on his skull. Using a picture of Holloway in uniform that his sister had, the lab was able to confirm that it was, indeed, his body.
Holloway’s status was changed to “killed in action” and his remains could be prepped for an official burial. His sister, Sarah, was invited to attend all of his company’s annual reunions, which she did until her death.
Of the 59 M.I.A. soldiers from Holloway’s company, Bellamy said all but one have been found today. He added that the family’s connection to the Mineral Wells community makes the story all the more special.