TAUNTON (CBS) – The remains of a World War II veteran killed in Germany are set to be buried in Taunton. The city asked residents to honor his memory and service by lining up along his funeral procession Thursday.

Technical Sgt. John Brady was shot down over Germany in 1944 never to return to his wife and newborn baby until now.

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Technical Sgt. John Brady (WBZ-TV)

“It’s immense joy,” said Michael Brady. “Nobody ever expected this would happen.”

Brady’s 73-year-old son couldn’t believe that phone call – just inches of his father’s remains had been located on a German farm.

“I was in a Walmart in West Little Rock and I thought it was a hoax,” Brady said. “There was enough DNA in there to identify my father from that small piece of his skull. That’s what’s amazing.”

Veterans, police, and town leaders lined the funeral home to pay their respects. All of them strangers to Brady, but many still family in service.

Remains of Technical Sgt. John Brady (WBZ-TV)

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“Any one of us could be in that situation. You don’t have closure until you bury your loved one back home,” said Dennis Proulx, VP of Taunton Vietnam Veterans Association.

A Gold Star son at just two months old, Michael Brady was presented with several ribbons and medals for his father’s sacrifice, including the Purple Heart.

“I’m beyond words. It’s so wonderful. It’s not a time of sadness. It’s a time of closure for the family. I’m just glad I lived long enough to see it happen,” Brady said.

The procession left O’Keefe Wade Funeral home at Thursday morning. The public lined the route leading to Saint Francis old cemetery. The remains of Technical Sgt John Brady will be buried with his parents, on his 75th wedding anniversary.

WBZ-TV’s Juli McDonald reports

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