The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Air Forces Capt. Arthur E. Halfpapp, 23, of Steelton, Pennsylvania, will be buried April 14 in Annville, Pennsylvania. On April 24, 1945, Halfpapp was assigned to the 87th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group, and was the pilot of a P-47 aircraft that crashed during an armed reconnaissance mission southeast of Alberone, Italy. After the crash, the mission flight leader circled the burning wreckage, and did not see any signs of life. Following the war, the Army Graves Registration Service searched for Halfpapp’s crash site; however, his remains were not located.
On May 24, 1948, a military board amended his status to non-recoverable.
In 2014, members of the Italian association Archeologi Dell’Aria reported they had excavated a crash site potentially associated with Halfpapp and recovered possible human remains and personal effects. DPAA is grateful to Archeologi Dell’Aria for their vital assistance in this recovery mission.
To identify Halfpapp’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence and mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched his maternal niece and nephew.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war.
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 or call (703) 699-1420.