The return of remains of overseas combat casualties was a complicated and time consuming affair for the US Government.
Once the Government had determined who was buried where, they undertook a process whereby they contacted the families of the deceased and inquired as to whether the family would prefer to have the soldier returned to the US or to remain buried overseas.All postings of letters, return replies and the logistics involved in returning the soldier took considerable time.Every detail was followed up on.At every stage paperwork was filled out.The body was "reprocessed" to ascertain ppoper identification.The body was casketed and returned to the US via ship to a POE.Then shipped by rail to the station nearest to where the family lived.The body was accompanied by a military escort of equal or higher rank to the deceased.He helped with arrangements with funeral homes and provided for a military burial if that was the desire of the family.At the conclusion of his duties he reported his mission accomplished and proceeded to his next escort assignment.
Over 100,000 deceased were returned to the US in this fashion.A date of April of 48 is actually in the early stages of the return process.
The IDPF which can be acquired from TAPCom will provide a running commentary on the process by which the deceased was returned.Each IDPF differs as to its content.Some are more detailed than others, particularly regarding the circumstances in which the individual was lost.Sometimes there is a narrative of the action in which the casualty occurred.Most often NOT.In the event of loss in a plane crash, there may be included a copy of the missing aircrew report (MACR) giving some details on the plane and where it went down.
Sometimes, and most often in the case of a plane crash--where identifications are most difficult--there may be skeletal diagrams and other forensic material relative to the deceased.I would not drop this on your friends dining room table, without seeing the contents first.
Be certain in making your request that you have the soldier's Service Number absolutely correct, and his full legal name spelled properly.It will take 5-6 months to receive the package from Archives.