The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pvt. Kenneth D. Farris, 19, of Dodson, Texas, accounted for on April 23, will be buried July 9 in Dallas. In November 1944, Farris served with Company B, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Farris’ unit arrived in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany on Nov. 9, 1944 and immediately began preparing to advance eastward to the town of Grosshau. Despite continued progress, the regiment’s Soldiers sustained heavy losses due to enemy artillery fire. On Nov. 28, 1944, Farris was wounded by artillery and left the front line for the battalion aid station. His regiment remained in combat for several more days, reaching the outskirts of Gey, Germany, before being pulled off the front line. When officers took an accounting of the surviving Company B soldiers, Farris could not be found. The last any of the survivors knew was that he had tried to find an aid station. He was listed missing in action when he could not be located.
Due to a lack of new information, Farris was declared deceased as of Nov. 29, 1945.
Between 1946 and 1950, dozens of unidentified remains were recovered from the Hürtgen Forest by various graves registration units. In May 1946, members of the 6890th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company of the American Graves Registration Command, recovered an unburied set of remains in a minefield near Gey, Germany. The remains were designated as X-2762 Neuville and interred at United States Military Cemetery Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium- present day Ardennes American Cemetery. X-2762 was disinterred on Nov. 17, 1948 for reprocessing. When an identification could not be made, they were interred at Epinal American Cemetery in France. Because no remains had been associated with Farris, he was declared non-recoverable on Dec. 8, 1950.
Following thorough scientific and historical analysis by DPAA historians, X-2762 Neuville was disinterred from the Epinal American Cemetery on July 27, 2017 and sent to DPAA for analysis.
To identify Farris’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, as well as anthropological, and dental analysis, and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this mission.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,906 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Farris’ name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten, Netherlands, an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the other MIAs from WWII. Although interred as an "unknown" his grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420/1169.