WWII soldier from Buffalo, lost in 1944, is identified by family, returned home

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local family who’s been wondering for decades what happened to their loved one in World War II finally received closure Thursday.

Almost 80 years after he went missing, Bartholomew Loschiavo returned home to the Queen City.

“Uncle Bart passed away and he brought the family together,” great nephew Bart D’Angelo said. “That’s what was going through my mind.”

“It was all love,” great niece Anna Schwass said. “They just missed him, and they were just hoping they would find him one day.”

WWII Private First Class Bartholomew Loschiavo entered the military in 1940. He was deployed to both France and Germany and was killed in action in 1944 near Grevenmacher, Luxembourg. He was only in his mid-20s.

“Even though he was in the service for 65 days in Europe, he was in the National Guard before that for three years,” great nephew Donald Loschiavo said. “He really wanted to serve. It was something he wanted to do and we’re proud of that. He did do that.”

Loschiavo’s remains were discovered by local residents and buried in the Church Cemetery of Grevenmacher.

The U.S Military discovered his remains and he was transferred to the Luxembourg American Cemetery, where he laid in an anonymous grave for more than 75 years.

“A company called Footstep Researchers provided me all the files on Bart that I needed to do the research and hammered down where he was,” Donald added.

“There was 5,000 men in that cemetery alone, including Bart, and there’s 96 of them still, with no name,” Donald continued. “I hope other people would do this for their family member and bring them home.”

This April, the U.S Department of Defense and the American Battle Monuments Commission notified the Loschiavo family that their DNA was a positive match to the unknown remains.

On Thursday, Bartholemew Loschiavo’s remains returned home just days before his 104th birthday on Monday, which is Memorial Day.

The casket was flanked by family, the National Guard, police and even strangers who showed their respect.

“We couldn’t be more proud of him and what he did for this country,” great nephew David Loschiavo said. “That’s really what it’s all about.”

“There was hope at the beginning that when he was reported missing, that he was still alive,” D’Angelo said. “I believe that hope turned to belief, but this gave closure. He’ll be buried along with his parents and his brother, Matthew.”

“This is closure and just sad that his brothers and sisters never had a chance to find out the truth,” Donald said.

The funeral and celebration of Bartholomew Loschiavo’s life and legacy, followed by his body being laid to rest in his hometown, will be June 1.

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Dillon Morello is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has been part of the News 4 team since September of 2023. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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