WWII veteran coming home to Moulton after nearly 80 years

PFC Noah Reeves was killed in action and declared missing in 1944. After nearly 80 years, Reeves is returning home. (The Moulton Advertiser)

MOULTON, Ala. – A family in Moulton is finally receiving the closure they have been awaiting for almost eight decades. 

The Battle of Hurtgen Forest was fought from September 1944 to February 1945 between American and German forces in the wake of Normandy. On Dec. 6, 1944, Noah Reeves was one of the many soldiers in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest who were killed in action; unlike his comrades, the lead scout’s body was never discovered or returned. One evening in 2019 the U.S. military alerted Reeves’ next of kin that his remains had been found. 

Reeves was a 25-year-old farmer when the infamous WWII draft came about. He quickly completed his civic duty, enrolled in the draft and was called to duty. Reeves was stationed in his home state of Alabama as well as Missouri before he was called overseas. It was then that he fell victim to one of the longest continuous battles of WWII.

Since his remains were discovered in 2019, his family has been working to bring the fallen veteran home to Alabama; this Thursday, April 25, that is finally happening. Alabama State Troopers, along with many county veterans and law enforcement officers along the travel route from Birmingham to Moulton will escort the fallen soldier home – first to Lawrence Funeral Home, then to Moulton Memory Gardens.

Reeves will land in Birmingham at approximately 5:02 p.m. Thursday, April 25. According to the U.S. Army, an honor guard from American Legion Post 25 in Moulton and American Legion Post 15 in Decatur will render honors on the tarmac at the Birmingham airport before the procession to his eternal resting place begins. A motorcade of veterans will follow the hearse on Highway 20 out of the airport to Interstate 65 heading north, to the Cullman exit (310) at Alabama Highway 157 to Moulton. The procession will be joined by local law enforcement and veterans organizations along the way. It will arrive at the Lawrence Funeral Home.

The Lawrence area VFW Women’s Auxiliary, friends, family members and community members have lined the highway with yellow ribbons from the Lawrence County line to the funeral home, giving PFC Reeves the hero’s homecoming he deserves. 

Local VFW, American Legion, law enforcement and EMS are also participating in the honor processional, handing out flags to spectators paying their respects. Spectators are encouraged to find a safe point to witness Reeves’ homecoming. 

“Cullman Police and Fire Department plan to have units staged at the 310 exit of I-65,” said Cullman City Public Safety Director Brian Bradberry. “We are honored to be a part of this tribute in order to pay our respects to PFC Noah Reeves, a member of the Greatest Generation, for his selfless service to our great nation.”

PFC Reeves will lie in state from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Monday, April 29, at Lawrence Funeral Home. His graveside service will be at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, at Moulton Memory Gardens with his descendant, Rev. Zach Terry, officiating. Reeves will receive a full military burial with honors following the service. 

Lawrence Funeral Home is located at 12950 Alabama Highway 157 in Moulton. Read more at www.bradfordlawrencefh.com/obituaries/noah-reeves.

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