LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The remains of a highly decorated soldier killed in the Korean War finally returned to the Southland Thursday.

A procession and ceremony were held early Thursday morning at Los Angeles International Airport for U.S. Army Master Sgt. Clifford Ryan.

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“It was amazing. I never expected to have that tribute to come home like that. . . . He’s finally back on U.S. soil,” grandson Corie Ryan said.

Ryan was killed on Nov. 1, 1950, while serving in the tank division near Unsan, North Korea. He was 28.

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Ryan’s body was not recovered at the time of his death. His remains went undiscovered until 2000 when they were found by North Koreans mining for gold.

Ryan was listed as missing in action until 2011 when his remains were finally identified through DNA testing at a lab in Hawaii.

Ryan served in the Army for 12 years and fought in World War II as well as the Korean War. He was honored with the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

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He will be buried Saturday at Riverside National Cemetery.