Bluffdale • An honor guard marched. A bugler played taps. Family members mourned — as if these services for Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield were taking place in 1945.

But Thursday’s funeral at Bluffdale’s Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park was 74 years in waiting. German anti-aircraft fire hit Hadfield’s A-26B on March 21, 1945, crashing the airplane and killing the 26-year-old Salt Lake City resident and his two crewmen.

The mourners Thursday included Mary Ann Turner, Hadfield’s daughter. She was 2 when her father died.

“An emptiness is filled,” Turner said after Thursday’s services, “and I have a lot of peace that I’ve never known before. It’s wonderful.”

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) A member of the honor guard presents Mary Ann Turner, the daughter of 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield, the flag from her father's casket during the graveside service for 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield, who was killed during the Second World War, at Veterans Memorial Park, in Bluffdale. Thursday, March 21, 2019.

The heavens smiled on the ceremonies as the rains ceased and the sun broke out for the hundred or so people — including Turner and other Hadfield relatives and descendants — in attendance. There were also people who just wanted to give this warrior his long-deserved send-off.

Jean-Louis Seel and Jean-Philippe Speder are Belgians who work with the U.S. government to find soldiers and airmen who went missing during World War II. They helped recover the remains of Hadfield and his crew, Sgt. Vernon Hamilton and Sgt. John Kalausich, and attended the Utahn’s funeral Thursday.

Seel was explaining how he attends such funerals to meet the families and share their experiences. Then a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, who provide motorcycle escorts to fallen service members’ families, walked up to him.

“Thank you for all you’ve done,” a rider told Seel.

“You also do a great job,” Seel replied.

Attending the funerals is “a way to get the circle closed,” Speder added.

(Photo courtesy of Utah National Guard) Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Lynn W. Hadfield, of Salt Lake City, was killed in a crash while flying a bomber aircraft on March 21, 1945, in Germany. His remains, in addition to his crew members', were found in 2016. On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, his remains will be returned to his family. He will be buried Thursday, 74 years to the date of his crash, at Veterans Memorial Park in Bluffdale.)

Hadfield and his crew were trying to obstruct German troop movements in preparation for the Allies crossing the Rhine River two days after their flight. The wreckage was identified in June 2016 in a horse paddock near Hülsten, Germany, according to U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Hadfield’s remains were confirmed through DNA testing and other means Dec. 13, 2018.

The Army Air Forces became the U.S. Air Force in 1947, and personnel from both the U.S. Army and Air Force were in uniform at Thursday’s services. Four Apache helicopters flew over the casket and mourners.

One helicopter pulled away at the last moment to signal the loss of Hadfield. As the aircraft flew, a bagpipe played “America the Beautiful.”

Chris Sauer, commander of American Legion Post 129 in Huntsville, drove to Bluffdale to pay his respects. He expressed admiration for the POW/MIA Accounting Agency and volunteers who recover missing veterans.

“The stories are great,” Sauer said after the funeral. “They work very hard at it.”

Before he drove back to Hunstville, Sauer went up to Turner, whom he did not know before Thursday, wished her well and gave her a hug.

Kalausich was buried in February in his hometown of Charleston, W.Va. Hamilton’s funeral has not been held yet.