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
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
Vietnam War Summary
Vietnam War Identification Project
Battle of Khe Sanh
Battle of Ia Drang
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
DPAA Organizational Chart
Report a Site
Donate to the Mission
| June 15, 2018
Funeral Announcement For Soldier Killed During World War II (Husak, L.)
WASHINGTON – The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from World War II, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Staff Sgt. Leo J. Husak, 21, of West, Texas, accounted for on February 12, will be buried June 23 in his hometown. In January 1945, Husak was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 309th Infantry Regiment, 78th Infantry Division, serving in the European theater. Husak was killed during a combat patrol on Jan. 30, 1945 in Germany’s Hürtgen Forest. The offensive in the forest was one of the longest battles the United States fought during World War II, lasting for nearly five months.
Due to the ongoing fighting, Husak’s remains were not recovered by members of his unit during the battle. After the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) collected hundreds of unknown sets of remains from battlefields in Germany, and labeled each set with an X-number. One set of remains, designated X-1043 Margraten, had been recovered from an area in the Hürtgen Forest where Husak was believed to have been killed. The AGRC was unable to identify the remains and buried them at Margraten in June 1945 as an unknown.
In March 1947, personnel from the AGRC reprocessed the remains but were unable to associate the remains with any American service members. They were again reinterred in Margraten in July 1949.
In October 2016, DPAA researchers made a historical association between X-1043 Margraten and Husak, based on the recovery site of the remains and where he was killed. On June 13, 2017, the remains were disinterred and repatriated to the DPAA laboratory at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
To identify Husak’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 circumstantial evidence.
DPAA is grateful to 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 72,917 service members (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Husak’s name is recorded on the Tablets of the Missing, the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Hombourg, Belgium. Although interred as an "unknown,” Husak’s 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.