Hundreds honor hometown WWII hero in DeFuniak Springs

January 26, 2018

Honor guards, military, local firefighters, law enforcement, and the Florida chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders participated in a parade to honor Lt. Ewart Theodore Sconiers. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Hundreds of well wishers lined Circle Drive to honor World War II hero and DeFuniak Springs native, 1st Lt. Ewart Theodore Sconiers. A ceremony, parade and tree planting was held in his honor on Jan. 26, 2018.

On January 24, 1944, Lt. Sconiers died while as a Prisoner of War in Germany. He was laid to rest in what was enemy soil at the time and buried in the “cemetery, section for POWs.”

After seventy-four years to the day from which he was first buried by fellow POWs, Lt. Sconiers finally returned home. Thanks go to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and “Promise Keepers” who made it happen.

His recovery is historic, in that he had been the only POW to be unrecovered from Stalag Luft 3, the German prison camp made famous by the movie The Great Escape. Keeping with the slogan of the 97th Bomb Group he served, “the hour has come.”

The Patriot Guard riders provided a motorcycle escort to DeFuniak Springs, and accompanied honor guards, military, local firefighters, and law enforcement in a parade to honor Sconiers. The parade started at the old Piggly Wiggly parking lot, then down Baldwin Ave to the Opinion Place for a ceremony, and a song from Artie Rodriguez. The procession continued around Circle Drive for a tree planting ceremony.

On Saturday, January 27th, Lt. Sconiers will be laid to rest with full military honors next to his mother, Maude Spence Sconiers, in the cemetery of Southwide Baptist Church, 1307 Coy Burgess Loop, DeFuniak Springs.

For more information on the history behind Lt. Sconiers, please visit