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(NECN: Greg Wayland) - The picture in its gold frame hung on the wall of Marie Lynch's home in Dorchester. Her granddaughter, Judy Armour remembers it well from weekend visits to that house -- that portrait of the smiling young Marine the uncle she never knew. Judy and her brother and sisters knew there was a painful story behind the portrait. A story of a grandmother who, as a young woman, was widowed early on, trained as a nurse and raised four children, three of them here perched on a pony around 1922. Young Billy in the middle was destined for a tragic wartime fate. The Lynch family lived on victory road Dorchester, a few blocks from where I grew up. They lived at number 57. The house is gone now, demolished in 1969, replaced by condominiums next to a playground. And the young Marine's life must have seemed full of promise and adventure. In 1939, he was assigned to the motor transport unit in shanghai, china, eventually becoming a staff sergeant. Then came the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lynch's unit was evacuated to the Philippines, only to find themselves under siege for months by the Japanese before being forced to surrender. The enemy was triumphant. And Sgt. Billy Lynch disappeared. A May, 1943 telegram from the Marine commandant declared Billy Lynch missing and possibly a prisoner of war. Over the next few years, Marie Lynch would receive letters reporting him alive and a POW, then reporting him transferred to a camp in Manchuria. There were days that she would receive notification that he was alive. And days that she would get a letter that said, we were wrong, he's dead. Judy Armour saved her grandmother's heartbreaking April, 1945 POW dispatch to her son. Limited to 24 words. It was later returned. Her real true feelings were in the letter. Please write to me. Write to me. But in June, 1946 came final word. Sgt. William Lynch was declared dead, though his remains were never found. That young mother would live to be 90, and die never knowing her sons fate. Her granddaughter Judy, like her late mother, assumed they'd never know, either. “And then, out of the blue, a year ago a man called. I answered the phone. And he asked me if I had an uncle who was a POW from World War II.” The caller was Ken Moore, head of the group called Moore’s Marauders. With the cooperation of the U.S. military, they work to recover the remains of wartime servicemen missing in action. He had linked up with a Chinese researcher -- Shenyang University professor Yang Jing. Jing is exploring a small, overgrown Manchurian burial ground marked only by a single stone in the town of Lushun, formerly Port Arthur. Former Chinese prisoners of the Japanese have told him an American and twelve Koreans were buried there. Yang Jing thinks the American is Sgt. William Lynch, the only POW unaccounted for at the notorious Monkton Camp in Manchuria. His bunkmate Roy Weaver is still alive and remembered him. Marie Daly is director of the library at the New England historic and genealogical society, which located the Lynch family for Ken Moore. She has also tapped into new research possibly revealing Sgt. Lynch's fate. She says Lynch, as a trained mechanic, was a prize POW. Japan needed to rev up its industries and there was a shortage of skilled machinists and mechanics. But like other Japanese POW who would later tell their stories, Lynch was badly treated, starved and brutalized aboard a so-called "hell ship" and forced into slave labor in a Manchurian tannery -- twice escaping, twice being captured, then shipped the Port Arthur. And they think that he was tortured and killed there and buried in a barrel and that there were always twelve Koreans also buried in barrels. And so now Moore’s Marauders have raised 16 thousand dollars toward a research trip to the Manchurian burial site where they hope to uncover and identify Sgt. Lynch's remains, using DNA from his nieces. And then, bring him home. One day in the early 1950s, the square at Neponset Avenue and victory road was dedicated to Sgt. William Lynch, the little neighborhood boy who grew up to die so savagely for his country so far away. His niece Judy was a little girl and recalls how they played taps that day of the dedication. And when Billy Lynch comes home, taps will echo down Victory Road again. If you would like to learn more about the search effort, or to make a donation visit<a href="http://www.mooresmarauders.org" target="_blank">www.mooresmarauders.org</a>.