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 Air Forces 2nd Lt. Clarence E. Allen, 23, of Venice, California, accounted for on July 26, 2017, will be buried May 23 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C. In mid-October 1944, Allen was a member of the 395th Fighter Squadron, 368th Fighter Group, and was the pilot of a P-47 aircraft as the lead element in a dive-bombing mission near Aachen, Germany. The squadron engaged enemy aircraft in dogfights in the vicinity of Dusseldorf, and following the battle, all aircraft except Allen’s returned to the base. The squadron Mission Report indicated that a P-47 was seen crashing in the vicinity of the battle. Based on this information, Allen was declared missing in action on Oct. 12, 1944.
Following the hostilities, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) personnel searched for and disinterred the remains of American servicemen. On March 18, 1948, the AGRC team disinterred remains from the community cemetery of Myhl. The remains were deemed unidentifiable and designated “Unknown X-7214,” and buried in the United States Military Cemetery in Neuville-en-Condroz (now known as Ardennes American Cemetery) in Nupré, Belgium.
On March 8, 2003, German researchers located aircraft wreckage that correlated with Allen’s aircraft, in Myhl. After a thorough historical and scientific analysis, it was determined that X-7214 could likely be identified. After receiving approval, in 2005, Unknown X-7214 was disinterred from Ardennes American Cemetery and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
To identify Allen’s remains, historians from DPAA established a strong link between X-7214 and historical documentation of Allen’s loss. Then, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) DNA analysis, which strengthened the link to Allen’s family members, establishing a consistent anthropological profile between X-7214 and Allen.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission for their partnership in this recovery.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,918 service members (approximately 26,000 assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Allen’s 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. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for. Although interred as an "unknown," Allen’s grave was meticulously cared for over the past 70 years by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
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.