An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
Official websites use .mil
website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
Skip to main content (Press Enter).
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Fulfilling Our Nation's Promise
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Recently Accounted For
World War II
World War II Summary
Battle of Tarawa
Attack on Pearl Harbor
Service Personnel Not Recovered Following WWII
Korean War Summary
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Battle of Unsan
Korean Air Battles
The Inchon Campaign
The Pusan Perimeter
The DMZ Campaigns
Korean War Disinterments
Korean War POW/MIA List
Vietnam War Summary
Vietnam War Identification Project
Battle of Khe Sanh
Battle of Ia Drang
Vietnam War POW/MIA List
Iraq & Other Conflicts
Searchable List of the Missing
Searchable Map of the Missing
News & Stories
Recent News & Stories
Year In Review
AFMES DNA Laboratory
Publicly Released Documents
Family/VSO Update Notes
Family Member Guide
POW/MIA Day Toolkit
Report a Site
Donate to the Mission
| March 16, 2018
Funeral Announcement For Soldier Killed During World War II (Johnson, R.)
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pvt. Rudolph Johnson, 20, of Malvern, Arkansas, will be buried March 23 in Little Rock, Arkansas. In February 1945, Johnson was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 365th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division. In an era of racial segregation, the 92nd ID was the only African-American division to fight in Europe. The unit fought on the western most portion of the Gothic Line in northern Italy. Its zone of operations consisted of two contiguous sectors; one sector along the Ligurian Sea coastline and the other in the Serchio River Valley. As part of Operation Fourth Term, Johnson’s regiment fought for days to secure positions along the Lama di Sotto ridge against strong German counterattacks. Johnson was reported missing in action as of Feb. 6, 1945. The War Department changed his status to killed in action on Feb. 21. 1945.
On May 9, 1947, American Graves Registration Service personnel recovered a set of remains designated as “Unknown X-298” in the vicinity of Lama di Sotto, Italy. They recovered a second set of remains in the same investigation and identified them as another member of Johnson’s regiment. Unknown X-298 could not be identified and was buried at the United States Military Cemetery at Castelfiorentino, Italy on May 14, 1947.
On Sept. 17, 1948, the American Graves Registration Services personnel disinterred Unknown X-298 and tried unsuccessfully to make an identification. The remains were reinterred in the USMC Florence American Cemetery on Dec. 16, 1949.
Researchers at DPAA conducted a thorough historical and scientific analysis, and determined that X-298 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, on June 13, 2016, X-298 was disinterred and sent to DPAA for analysis.
To identify Johnson’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which matched his family, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and historical evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs 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 72,948 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Johnson’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing at the Florence American Cemetery, in Italy, an American Battle Monuments Commission site, along with the other MIAs from WWII. 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.